Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Colonel Lorenzo Batuan said he is “100 percent” certain that none from the local police force under his command has ties to the illicit drug trade.
Batuan made the pronouncement in an interview over station dyRD on Tuesday amid the national government’s efforts to purge the Philippine National Police (PNP) of drug ties.
“Ang atoang team karon, ang atoang mga kapulisan sa Bohol clean ta sa pagkakaron,” said Batuan.
Batuan, the first Bohol native to lead the BPPO in at least a decade, claimed that the local police has been cleared of any involvement in the narcotics trade.
“Kung duna man ganiy mga personnel nato before na matawag nato na na-link sa illegal na binuhatan, sa pagkakaron wala na sa atoang present administration,” he added.
According to Batuan, the province is performing relatively well in the crackdown on illegal drugs compared with other localities in the region.
He said 627 of the province’s 1,109 barangays have already been declared “drug-cleared.”
The province’s top cop also maintained that illegal drugs such as methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu are not manufactured locally.
Like police directors before him, Batuan believes that the shabu supply reaching Bohol are shipped from neighboring provinces such as Cebu and Leyte.
When he took over the BPPO’s helm in November last year, Batuan highlighted that his anti-drug campaign will focus on the reduction of drug supply that make it into Bohol.
He admitted that patrolling the vast coastline of the island province will bea difficult task due to lack of personnel, but noted that this may be addressed by enlisting the aid of barangay officials and residents of coastal villages.
Earlier, interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos alleged that efforts by authorities to crack down on drugs are being hampered by the involvement of some high-ranking police officials in the narcotics trade.
His solution has been to call for the courtesy resignation of the PNP’s top brass particularly colonels and generals to pave the way for the government’s probe and assessment of those
So far, nearly 600 colonels and generals, including Batuan, have tendered their courtesy resignation.
The province’s top cop said that he believes that there are indeed top-brass police officials who are involved in the illicit drug trade.
He added that the Abalos’ initiative will likely lead to the filing of cases against some police officials.
“Akong nakita na aduna juy mga third-level officers siguro pud na ma file-an og kaso tungod sa ilang involvement sa illegal drugs,” said Batuan.