PNP maintains battle lines drawn vs cops in drugs

THE Philippine National Police headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday maintained that “battle lines have been drawn” against police officers and men involved in illegal drugs and those who will be caught will either find themselves behind bars or six feet underground should they engage officers in shootouts.

PNP spokesman Colonel Bernard M. Banac said since President Duterte ordered a war on drugs in July 2016, a total of 441 police officers and men have been fired from the force for their involvement in illegal drug trafficking and abuse.

“The number is expected to rise as the PNP under General Oscar Albayalde continues an aggressive campaign to ferret out misfits and scalawags in our organization,” the PNP spokesperson said.

Of the 441 dismissed from the service, Banac said that 322 tested positive for substance abuse while 190 others were found guilty of various offenses including selling and possession of dangerous drugs and coddling or protecting drug suspects.

The latest cop who was arrested for his drug-dealing activities was Senior Staff Sergeant Chris Mateos Marquez. Marquez, a member of the Regional Police Security and Protection Unit in Region 4-A, was arrested after he sold a sachet of shabu to an undercover officer and received the P5,000 in marked money from a poseur, said PNP-CITF director Col. Romeo M. Caramat Jr.

He said Marquez was the latest rogue in uniform to be arrested by the PNP-CITF in line with its ongoing crackdown against scalawags and misfits in the police service. “This is part of our ongoing massive internal cleansing drive as ordered by Gen. Albayalde,” said Caramat.

Gen. Albayalde has described rogues in police uniform as their real enemy within the ranks and stressed that all efforts are in place to stop them.

Early last January, PNP-CITF operatives arrested two policemen from the Makati and Taguig City Police Stations accused of robbery-extortion prompted National Capital Region Police Office chief Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar and Southern Police District director Brig. Gen. Cruz to repeat their warning that no one will be spared in the ongoing PNP internal cleansing program.