Two former PNP regional directors of Central Visayas based in Cebu City were named by President Rodrigo DuterteÂ Â as one of the five police generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs, and ordered them relieved from their posts.
In his speech at the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), Duterte said one of the police generals include former Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy director general Marcelo Garbo, Jr.
Garbo was the PNP Region 7 regional director when drug syndicates proliferated in the province under the watch of former Provl PNP Director Constatino Barot.
He said Garbo was a “protector of drug syndicates.” Also exposed by Duterte was former PNP Region-7Â Â Director Vicente Loot
The other three police generals were identified as Bernardo Diaz, Edgardo Tinio, Joel Pagdilao.
Garbo and Loot have left the police service. Loot is the newly elected mayor of Â Daang bantayan town in Cebu.
Diaz was director of the Police Regional Office 6, Tinio was director of the Quezon City Police District Office and Pagdilao was director of the National Capital Region Police Office.
“As [of] this time, I order them relieved from their assignments and report to the director general [Ronald dela Rosa],” Duterte said.
“I would like to talk them and certainly, I would expect the [National Police Commission to do their thing; imbestigahan ninyo ito at ‘wag ninyo akong bigyan ng zarzuela,” he added.
“Hanapin ninyo ang tao kasi overnight I was really trying to figure out…. I do not necessarily humiliate people. It’s not my practice, politiko ako eh,” Duterte added.
In an interview with radio station dzBB,Â Loot denied the allegations against him.
“Nabiktima lang ako ng black propaganda,” Loot said.
Loot added that his alleged links to illegal drugs came from one of his accusers during his time as director of the Manila Police District.
The newly elected mayor of Daangbantayan, Cebu said it was unfair for his family and fellow Cebuanos if he was not given a chance to clear his name.
“It’s unfair to me and to my family, kailangan ma-clear ko ang sarili ko… Sana naman mabigyan ako ng pagkakataon, it’s unfair to my fellow Cebuanos, kilala ako dito, alam nila kung anong klaseng opisyal ako,” Loot said.
Duterte said police officers who are involved in illegal drugs have committed treason, pointing out that their education was paid for government funds.
“Ito yung mga tao who were given the honor to join the academies of our country, be it the PNP or PMA at the expense of the public and [made] a career there,”” Duterte said.
Garbo is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1981, Loot belongs to Class 1982, Tinio is a member of Class 1985 while Pagdilao and Diaz are “mistahs” in Class 1984.
“All along, tayong mga mamayan thought we are being protected by the police,” Duterte said.
“Masakit pakinggan kasi ginastusan mo, pinag-aral mo, pati medyas at sapatos, gastos mo, tapos you commit, by any language, it is treason,” he added.
Bato listen to generals
PNP Director General Ronald â€œBatoâ€ Dela Rosa, who was also present at the PAF anniversary, said his office was open to the generals named by Duterte, but admitted that he could not compel those who have retired from service to meet him.
â€œI will talk to them and I will listen to their explanation. â€˜Yung mga retired na, I cannot compel them to talk to them because they are no longer under my jurisdiction. They are no longer under my command,â€ Dela Rosa told reporters.
Dela Rosa would not elaborate as to the allegations of President Duterte, saying â€œall intelligence reports are submitted to him.â€
The PNP chief said that while he was sad that his upper classmen were linked to illegal drugs, he stressed that his duty to the Filipino people came first.
â€œThe President has zero tolerance on drugs…We have a job to do. Masakit man sakin, in as much as I donâ€™t want to hurt my upper classmen, I have a duty before the Filipino people so we have to do this,â€ Dela Rosa said.
â€˜A DIRTY FIGHTâ€™
Duterte, in his speech, stressed his campaign promise to rid the country of illegal drugs in six months time, again promising his full support to the authorities who may face legal consequences in running after criminals.
â€œIt’s going to be a dirty fight, it’s going to be a bloody fight. I am not apologizing for it,â€ the President said.
â€œLahat ng madiddisgrasya at magkaka-kaso in fulfillment of your duties as public authorities, akin yan, mine and mine alone. I assume full, legal responsibility. Huwag kayong matakot basta nasa tama kayo,â€ Duterte said.
Duterte also cited former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who waged a war against drugs during her term, citing it as a threat to national security.
NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT
In her second state address in 2002, Arroyo instructed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to instruct the military to go against drug lords, calling them â€œenemies of the state.â€
â€œWith the drug menace now elevated to the level of a national security problem and no longer just a police problem, I am instructing the Armed Forces of the Philippines to field military resources for intelligence and to field soldiers in drug raids in support of civilian law enforcement. Drug lords will be treated as enemies of the State!â€ Arroyo said then.(withÂ Â reports fromÂ GMA News)