INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano said that the burden of proof now lies with the 357 “narco cops” who will be investigated for alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade.
Ano urged the 357 cops on the narcolist to present concrete evidence that will clear them.
Not even an optional retirement would exonerate them from the charges if found guilty.
The PNP gave the 357 cops a chance to file for optional retirement to spare the PNP from more cases for adjudication.
Ano however said that optional retirement will not exonerate them from criminal charges if the adjudication will prove their guilt.
“Patunayan nilang wala silang kaugnayan sa iligal na droga. Nasa kanila ang burden of proof, iprisinta nila ang mga ebidensya na magpapatunay na wala silang kinalaman at kaugnayan sa iligal na droga,” the DILG chief said.
The narcolist is a consolidation of intelligence and other reports from law-enforcement agencies and still needs to be verified and validated.
Aside from uniformed personnel, the list also includes local officials and judges as well as other personalities.
The DILG head commended National Police chief Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa for “having the courage” to resolve the issue of narco cops as part of the sustained internal cleansing campaign of the PNP.
“I commend PNP Chief Gamboa for having the courage in resolving this issue na matagal ng burden ng PNP. We need to deal with this para makapagtrabaho na nang matino ang ating mga pulis,” he said.
Gamboa said he met with most of the 357 policemen recently and explained to them the process of the two-way adjudication to be initiated based on his request to the President.
The process involves adjudication at the regional and directorial level for one week before the cases go to the national level which will handle the cases for three weeks.
Once all the cases are submitted to the Office of the Chief PNP, it will take three days for him to submit the results of the adjudication to the President for approval.
He said that the 357 cops must present evidence to clear their names to the four agencies handling illegal drug reports — the PNP, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.