MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa on Thursday ordered the relief and restrictive custody of 11 police officers accused of kidnapping and killing 6 alleged drug traffickers in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.
"I will not tolerate any wrongdoing in the service. Those accused must be made to answer for their criminal acts," Gamboa said in a statement.
"In the meantime, it is best that they are relieved from duty to eliminate any suspicion of whitewash or coddling."
Gamboa ordered the Central Luzon police to hold the 11 members of the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) of San Jose Del Monte City Police Station under custody while undergoing investigation.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recommended the filing of criminal complaints of kidnapping with murder and planting of evidence against the policemen over an alleged fabricated anti-drug operation that led to the death of 6 men.
The policemen made it appear that the victims fought back in separate buy-bust operations from Feb. 14 to 18, the NBI said.
However, the victims were photographed inside the police station while blindfolded and tied. They were later brought to a remote area where they were killed, the agency added.
Facing the criminal complaints are Police Maj. Leo Commendador dela Rosa; Police Staff Sergeants Benjie Enconado, Jayson Legaspi, Irwin Yuson and Edmund Catubay Jr.; Police Corporals Jay Leoncio, Herbert Hernandez, Raymond Bayan and Raul Malgapo; and Patrolmen Erwin Sabido and Rusco Madla.
Gamboa assured the NBI they will fully cooperate in the investigation.
He said that "the unlawful actions of the indicted policemen are purely their own and are not sanctioned by any official orders, policy or regulation."
- With a report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News