TURNING POINT: Political Will Exercised

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (08 January) — Chief Benhur Abalos of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) made an appeal to all officers – from colonel to General of the Philippine National Police (PNP), to submit their courtesy resignation. The approach is, accordingly, the quickest way to cleanse the PNP officers who have been involved in the commerce of illegal drugs. 

Not even the anti-drug freak, former President Duterte, has thought of this strategy, notwithstanding his drug matrices – his thorough knowledge of the drug personalities under his command. He failed or refused to jail, or even remove or accept the resignation of anyone.

To take this case of the rogue officers to the regular judicial system will, accordingly, take forever.

The DILG knows the drug personalities in the PNP echelon. The courtesy resignation will blow away the chaff from the grain.

At first glance, the strategy is commendable. The resignation of rogue cops will be accepted with no hassle and they can now be removed from their posts immediately. However, in the absence of a case against them and a conviction, they will leave the service bringing their ranks and maybe what benefits they are entitled to. This is the weak underbelly of the approach.

And no one will go to jail, unless an investigation will relentlessly be pursued against them and had them convicted in proper forum. Though, this move will take forever, as said, it is still best to conclude the resignation of bad cops this way.

So it’s better to knock them down first with a kid glove and reduce their capacities to influence or change things to their favor in later investigation.

Abalos’ soft exercise of political will shows his unfavorable perception of our justice system.

But wait; the system has shown some radical change lately with the quick acquittal from a drug case of Juanito Remulla, son of Moying Remulla of the Department of Justice. The trial took less than three months – probably the fastest ever court hearing on a non-bailable offense in the country, to conclude and freed the younger Remulla. That justice was not delayed or denied is another exercise of political will.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)