President Rodrigo Duterte said he needs to purge the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to rid it of corrupt cops, especially those involved in the illegal drug trade.
“I need to purge the PNP [first],” Duterte said in an interview with ABS-CBN Friday night, after he was asked why it was taking him long to appoint a new chief to head the 40,000-strong police force.
“Those already tainted with corruption and especially drugs, I have no choice but to dismiss them from service,” Duterte said.
Duterte earlier told Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to supervise the PNP while he has not yet appointed a new chief to replace Oscar Albayalde, who left under a cloud of scandal that linked him to cops who sold seized drugs.
The President said he was confident that Año could help him cleanse the police force but said those accused of corruption would be given due process.
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At the same time, the President rejected the recommendations of Vice President Leni Robredo, who served as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs (ICAD) before she was fired 19 days after she took the post over disagreements with Duterte.
Robredo bared her recommendations to the President last week, which includes transferring ICAD chairmanship from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to the Dangerous Drugs Board.
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“It’s not cheap, Leni. You have to go for the—you have to purge the PNP. It’s not just changing heads of these bodies,” the President said.
on Sunday vowed to continue going after police “scalawags” involved in corrupt activities and narcotics trade.
“I will make sure the scalawags in the PNP organization are weed out. We will continue to do until the last scalawag is out. It is very important to get the trust and confidence of the public and we can only do so if we get rid of rotten eggs,” Año said.
Año said the PNP is “really doing good” in its campaign against illegal drugs and criminality.
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“Unfortunately, there are a few destroying the image and we will eradicate them,” he added.
Año said he wants the PNP to pick only the best and brightest applicants to fill the police force’s 17,000 vacancies.
He said the PNP should ensure a stringent recruitment and hiring process where those who are not mentally and physically fit are weeded out, and only the “very best” will be chosen.
“The cleansing program should already begin in the hiring. It will save the police organization from a lot of headaches later on if we do the hiring and recruitment process properly and seriously,” he added.
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Noting their salaries have been doubled by Duterte, Año said aspiring police officers should have excellent capabilities and the heart for public service. With PNA
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