Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday said that he backs Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa’s order to suspend anti-illegal drugs operations to focus on “internal cleansing.”
The order came after President Rodrigo Duterte himself called for the dissolution of all anti-narcotics groups within the PNP after some of its officers were implicated in the murder of a South Korean businessman.
“Allowing rogue cops to stay in the service mocks the efforts of honest police officers who put their lives on the line to rid our country of illegal drugs”, said Pimentel.
Pimentel noted that drug syndicates, with the help of scalawag policemen, are able to penetrate specialized agencies fighting against the illegal drug trade.
Pimentel urged dela Rosa to not just focus on the rogue personalities currently in the police force, but also to ensure that the institution can prevent the damage rogue cops can do.
Pimentel said, “The PNP must observe high standards in recruitment, promotion, and assignment of all its officers.”
Pimentel earlier criticized the practice of sending erring policemen to Mindanao instead of filing cases against them.
Pimentel said, “Bad cops should not be sent to Mindanao, they should be sent to jail.”
Despite the suspension of PNP operations against drug traffickers, Pimentel remained confident that this does not mean that the gains of the war on drugs would be lost.
Pimentel explained that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, or PDEA, is still actively pursuing operations against drug syndicates.
In addition, he emphasized that the lull on the part of the PNP is temporary.
Pimentel said, “This is nothing more than a pause to regroup. I expect the PNP to come back stronger than ever after this cleansing.”