GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 July) – Police authorities in Region 12 are closely monitoring several elected local government officials and police officers in the region for their alleged involvement in various drug-related activities.
Chief Supt. Cedrick Train, Region 12 police director, confirmed that they have launched an investigation against politicians and police officers in the region who are supposedly acting as protectors and directly involved in the illegal drug trade.
“We are currently in the process of monitoring and validation. We’re doing a deeper investigation to determine their possible roles and the extent of their involvement,” he said in a media forum here on Wednesday.
The police official declined to name the concerned personalities pending their ongoing investigation.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes earlier said at least two incumbent mayors and several councilors in the province are being monitored by authorities for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
She did not identify the involved officials but noted that some of them were tagged by drug personalities that surfaced and surrendered voluntarily to local police units these past weeks.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Region 12 disclosed that they are currently investigating the reported involvement of a number of barangay officials in drug-related activities.
“We have a list of these personalities but we just can’t divulge them yet without any evidence,” Train said.
As to the involved police officers, he acknowledged that some of them are holding senior ranks or positions.
He said some of them were named in mobile text messages and formal complaints that he received.
Train said a number of police personnel also came to him and admitted to have previously used illegal drugs.
He said they were immediately processed and subjected to drug tests through the regional crime laboratory.
“Some of them were already relieved while the others are being monitored and undergoing investigation,” he said.
Last week, the Police Regional Office 12 launched the mandatory drug testing of all police personnel in the region.
As of Wednesday, none among the nearly 3,000 commissioned and non-commissioned officers in the region that have so far completed the tests have yielded positive of drug use.
“The message here is that if you are a police officer, you should be clean and not involved in any drug-related activity. Otherwise, you have no right to wear our uniform,” he added.