DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 July) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday upped the ante in his anti-crime and corruption campaign by publicly naming five police officers, two of them already retired, allegedly involved in illegal drug syndicates.
Speaking during the 69th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Clark Air Base, Duterte said he has ordered the following relieved from their positions:
Deputy Director-General Marcelo Garbo Jr., (retired)
Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot, (retired)
Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz
Director Joel Pagdilao
Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio
“I am compelled by my sense of duty na sabihin sa inyo lahat lalo na yung mga police na nasabit sa droga, one way or the other, who contributed to the deterioration of the law and order of this country.
“What is really sad is ito yung mga tao who are given the honor to join the academies of our country, be it the PNPA or the PMA at the expense of the public and they have the career there. All along tayong mga mamamayan thought that we are being protected by the police primarily,” Duterte said.
Garbo (PMA Class 1981) and Diaz (PMA Class 1984) figured in a controversy shortly before the elections for reportedly meeting with the camp of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas in a Quezon City hotel.
Garbo is a former PNP chief for administration. Loot, now the mayor of Daanbantayan town in Cebu, served as director of the PNP Training Service and director of Police Regional Office 8 before retiring.
Pagdilao (PMA Class 1984), served as National Capital Region Police Office chief. The new PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa replaced him with Chief Superintendent Oscar D. Albayalde.
Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio (PMA Class 1985) was the director of Quezon City Police District.
Diaz heads the PNP Regional Office-6.
In his speech, Duterte said that Diaz, whose first name the president did not mention, was assigned in Region 11 (Davao Region).
But in an interview by ABS-CBN, Diaz said he might have been the victim of a mistaken identity as he was never assigned in Region 11, and his last posting was in Region 6.
He said he himself hates drugs as many close relatives of his became victims of drugs.
He said he will report to Camp Crame on Wednesday to clear his name.
“Masakit pakinggan kasi ginastusan mo na, binayaran mo ang pag-aaral nya. Lahat uniporme, pati medyas at sapatos and you commit, by any language, it is really treason,” Duterte said.
He ordered the five officials to report to dela Rosa and asked the National Police Commission to investigate them.
“Imbestigahan ninyo ito at wag ninyo ako bigyan ng zarzuela. Hanapin ninyo ang totoo. I do not necessarily humiliate people, it is not my practice,” he said.
Duterte, who vowed to end drugs and criminality in three to six months, said he has the “sacred obligation to the Filipino people”.
He said that even while he was still mayor of Davao City, he had heard the names of the five officials as among those involved in drug syndicates.
He warned other police officials to stay away from illegal drug operations otherwise “you will face yourself in the line of fire.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)