MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa did not mince words on Wednesday as he threatened to reshuffle police officials who perform poorly in the campaign against illegal drugs.
Dela Rosa noted that the PNP only has until October to deliver on President Duterte's mandate to suppress crime and the narcotics trade within six months, but some police offices are still "lagging behind".
"Kung papantayan natin iyung standard talaga na six months, some of them are lagging behind," he said. (If we stick by the six-month standard, some of them are lagging behind.)
"They have to up the tempo of their efforts, otherwise magka-tanggalan ito (there will be a reshuffle). I will relieve them if they cannot measure up to their expectations."
The PNP leader said police offices in Metro Manila, Bicol Region and Western Visayas, in particular, need to improve their counter-drug drive.
PNP Deputy General Benjamin Magalong has drawn up a performance metric with which police officials would be evaluated, Dela Rosa added.
Security forces have rallied in an unprecedented crackdown on drug suspects since Duterte assumed power with a zero-tolerance rhetoric against crime.
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The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group counted 1,054 drug-related deaths from May 10 to August 16. Sixty percent were killed in police operations, 31 percent were killed by unidentified assailants, while nine percent were dead bodies found away from the crime scene.
-- With reports from Henry Atuelan, DZMM; Kevin Manalo, DZMM