INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno has ordered lifestyle checks on members of the Philippine National Police to identify and remove officials involved in illegal activities.
Sueno ordered PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa to begin with the three active police generals that President Rodrigo Duterte tagged as protectors of drug lords—Police Regional Office 6 Director Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, former National Capital Regional Police Office chief Joel Pagdilao and former Quezon City Police District Director Edgardo Tinio.
All three have denied the accusations.
In ordering the lifestyle check, Sueno said a police officer or a civil servant who has amassed questionable wealth must explain how he acquired his assets.
The National Police Commission, Sueno said, has begun its investigation on the three active police generals identified by Duterte.
Lawyers from the agency have also started gathering information regarding the case of former police general and now Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot.
Duterte publicly named the five PNP officials, including retired director-general Marcelo Garbo, as being involved in illegal drugs and ordered them relieved.
Pagdilao, Tinio, Diaz and Loot have already talked to Sueno, saying they are willing to face a probe to clear their names.
The Palace on Sunday said the President is set to release a list of “persons of interest” that are allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
“The announcements of the list of names of drug lords happened last week,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, chief of the Presidential Communications Office, said over state-run radio dzRB. “And there are other persons of interest to be announced by the President. When this will be announced, I cannot say.”
In a taped news briefing in the Palace Thursday, Duterte said many mayors are also involved in the drug trade.
Duterte presented a chart that showed the web of suspected drug lords and their alleged protectors among local officials and police officers.
Duterte called on the drug dealers and their protectors to “commit suicide.”
“There are many mayors involved,” he said in Filipino. “We have a mayor in Mindanao. There’s even a woman mayor.”
“The drug people really made fools of us,” he continued. “They’re destroying the country. They’re destroying the youth of the land, so my appeal to them is, since they are beyond their redemption, they can stop and commit suicide because I will not allow these idiots to run their show—not during my watch.’’
Duterte identified the top drug lords operating in the country as Wu Tuan, alias Peter Co; Herbert Colangco, alias Ampang; and Peter Lim, alias Jaguar.
Co and Colangco are high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison. Co is reportedly the head of the Bilibid 19, a group of convicted drug offenders detained at the NBP.
“Most of them are inside the national penitentiary. This would show you how corrosive and how widespread the problem is,” Duterte said.
Co, he said, was directing the triad operations in Luzon and the National Capital Region; while Lim, who is out of the country, was responsible for the triad in the Visayas.
Duterte warned Lim not to return to the Philippines or else he would be killed.
“If he has friends here, tell him the moment he lands here at Naia, he will die…Do not come back to the Philippines anymore. The moment he steps out of the plane, he will die. That is my assurance to the people of the Philippines,” he said.
Colangco, according to Duterte, is the son-in-law of Ozamiz City Mayor Aldong Parojinog.