NINETY rouge officers, branded by President Rodrigo Duterte as “gangsters,” will be out of the police force before the week ends, the country’s chief executive officer said amid their alleged connivance with crime syndicates.
“[This] Wednesday, three superintendents, about 90, or a minimum of 60 police — get out of the [Philippine National Police],” Duterte said during the birthday celebration of Senator Manny Pacquiao Sunday.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Monday said the communist rebels remained to be the biggest threat to peace and order in the country.
“That’s the biggest threat to the law and order situation right now,” Dela Rosa said in an ambush interview.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said President Duterte would use the full force of the Mindanao martial law against the New People’s Army, military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Duterte, through Proclamation 374, has also declared the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA as terrorist groups.
In his speech, Duterte said the move was part of the internal cleansing in the agency.
“I am starting the purging...if you are not included, don’t feel insulted...I am just warning corrupt policemen...I am watching you,” he said in Filipino.
The President maintained he would not allow anyone, including policemen, to use their job in committing crimes, such as being involved in robbery and illicit drugs trade.
“You have been used to perpetrate crimes. You will be removed because of that. You will lose your job. That’s your fault,” he said.
Duterte added the government was unfairly paying for the misconduct of some officers, and he was out to get them.
Speaking in Filipino, Duterte said: “Don’t make us pay for your mischief. It isn’t fair. You will lose your job... you will do drugs. I already said no corruption and drugs and if you destroy my country, I will destroy you.”
On Monday, Dela Rosa confirmed he gave the President a list of policemen—with ranks ranging from PO1 to senior superintendent—suspected of corruption.
Dela Rosa, who claimed that his office would focus instead on internal cleansing, said he had yet to discuss the list with Duterte.
“That’s how frustrating it is...They’re risking their future, career, family just because money from drugs can temporarily give them comfort... I don’t see the logic...” Dela Rosa said in a mix of Filipino and English.
The police force faces dwindling public trust ratings and complaints of abuse and allegations of committing extrajudicial killings.
Dela Rosa, whose term was extended for three months, is poised to take over as the director of the Bureau of Corrections.