Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. on Wednesday announced the names of four members of the five-man panel tasked to review records and profiles of high-ranking police officials who have submitted their courtesy resignations.
The advisory group will be composed of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., former Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Jr. and former Cordillera Police Regional Office commander and retired P/Maj. Gen. Isagani Nerez.
Abalos declined to identify the fifth member.
Abalos, who called for the courtesy resignation of full colonels and generals, formed the panel to help weed out high-ranking police officials involved in the illegal drug trade.
He said the five-man team will go through the pertinent records to find out who are involved in drug dealing and trafficking.
Abalos said the advisory group will begin their screening immediately and the entire process is expected to be completed in three months.
“We have high respect for these five volunteer advisors who accepted the challenge and responsibility of conducting an investigation to continue to suppress illegal drugs in the country,” Abalos said.
He said he is confident the review will be fair and impartial “because these men are known to have credibility, integrity and possessed good track records in their respective fields.”
“I just want to clarify that this is a legal process because it is only an advisory group that will make recommendations to the Napolcom (National Police Commission) and eventually to President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. They will receive no salary or allowance here,” he said.
Abalos asked the public to support this initiative to win the war against the drug trade.
He said only one high-ranking police official out fo 955 has refused to file a courtesy resignation but he declined to name the officer.
While 12 officials have yet to submit their resignations, five have already retired and six are retirees, he added.
“We fully respect his right. We are not ordering or commanding anyone. It was just an appeal. No sanctions will be done, nothing at all. But of course, we will find out why he refused,” he told Palace reporters in a mix of English and Filipino.
Earlier, Azurin said a lifestyle check is among the ways that the five-member panel responsible for reviewing the records of police generals and colonels can decide who might be involved in illegal activities.