PNP mulls 'superbody' to lead drug war


Posted at Oct 22 2019 08:19 AM | Updated as of Oct 22 2019 08:42 AM

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MANILA — The Philippine National Police is considering pushing for the creation of a "superbody" that will lead President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics drive, as the organization fights allegations that some of its officers resold seized narcotics, the PNP officer-in-charge said Tuesday. 

The superbody will "oversee and undertake all drug operations", as well as review cases, set policies for drug sweeps, and take charge of demand reduction and rehabilitation of suspects, said PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa.

"Pinag-aaralan din namin iyon (we are also studying that). Probably next command conference in November, we are going to propose that," he told radio DZMM.

Gamboa was appointed police OIC after Gen. Oscar Albayalde resigned as PNP chief last week over allegations that he protected officers who were accused of pilfering some 160 kilos of shabu in a 2013 operation, which he denied. 

To cut opportunities for drug recycling, PNP commanders should be held directly responsible for all operations, the inventory of confiscated narcotics should be tightened and officers should undergo surprise inspections, said Gamboa. 

Gamboa is one of 3 candidates to replace Albayalde. His contenders are Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, PNP deputy chief for operations, and Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the Directorial Staff, the PNP's 4th highest post. 

The PNP is at the helm of Duterte's 3-year-old anti-narcotics crackdown which has killed some 6,600 drug suspects. The figure is roughly half of estimates of human rights groups critical of the bloody campaign. 

Only 454 policemen have been banished from the organization as of Sept. 20 this year for drug-related cases, according to official PNP data.