Twenty-five high-ranking police officials have yet to submit their courtesy resignations over a week since Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. made his appeal to the senior police officials, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Sunday.
About 928 or 97 percent of the total 953 full colonels and generals across the country have tendered their resignations, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said.
The police headquarters in Camp Crame received 24 more resignations on Saturday.
Fajardo said most of the remaining resignations are expected to come from Visayas and Mindanao.
Earlier, PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said at least 10 police officials were allegedly involved in illegal drugs. He was not sure though if these officers have submitted their courtesy resignations.
Department of Interior and Local Government chief Abalos said Sunday top police officials who will be allowed to resign after submitting courtesy resignations and those who opted to retire early would still be thoroughly investigated.
“The process does not end upon the acceptance of courtesy resignation,” Abalos said in a statement.
Abalos said those who will be allowed to resign and retire are yet to undergo a rigorous investigation and monitoring.
“Don’t let them think that once they retire, they will get through. No. There will be continued monitoring and case buildup against them,” he said.
A five-man committee will be created to investigate and assess the officials who were asked to resign and will make recommendations to the President.
Former police official and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong was earlier named as one of the members of the panel. The other four are yet to be announced.
“What we are waiting for is the official announcement, the composition of the five-man committee that will conduct an examination of those who submitted courtesy resignations,” Fajardo said in a radio interview.
Abalos is expected to announce soon the composition of the team and how the assessment would be done, she added.
“What Sec. Abalos said that the team is already there. We are also waiting on how are they going to assess those who submitted their resignation,” she said.
Abalos said the National Police Commission (Napolcom) would also review the names of police officers whose resignations will be accepted.
“That’s important to me, they should be thoroughly screened. I’d rather have one man who is guilty get off the hook than one innocent person dismissed,” Abalos said.
He assured though that the five-man committee and Napolcom will be guided by evidence at hand before making any decision.
“Our justice system is founded upon the principle that we protect the innocent and make sure that only the guilty are punished. That is our solemn duty, and we will not rest until this is carried out,” Abalos said.
Fajardo, meanwhile, said those officers who will be found to have links with illegal drug activities will face charges. But they can appeal the findings and secure other legal remedies.