GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 July) – Six policemen in Region 12 are facing dismissal proceedings after being tested positive of using illegal drugs in random drug tests conducted last week by the regional police office.
Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr., Region 12 police director, said Monday the erring policemen were among the initial batch of 80 police personnel in Region 12 who were subjected to drug testing last July 15 as mandated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) central office.
He said the six policemen have already been relieved of their assignments and will be subjected to confirmatory tests and administrative proceedings.
“This is very disappointing since most of them have already spent a number years in service,” the police official said.
Calima said the two of the policemen were previously assigned at the Police Regional Office 12’s Regional Special Training Unit and the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit while the four others were from the Koronadal City police station, Isulan municipal police station in Sultan Kudarat and police precincts number 03 and 08 in this city.
The six policemen, whose identities were initially withheld, hold the ranks of Police Officer 1 to Senior Police Officer 2 and already spent 7 to 26 years in active service.
The official said Koronadal City police chief Supt. Michael Libanan, Isulan police chief Supt. Roel Surmese and the acting heads of the city’s police stations number 03 and 08 have been placed under administrative relief in connection with the case.
He said they will be investigated for failing to monitor the involvement of their subordinates in such illegal activity, he said.
“They’re also accountable for this since part of their duties and responsibilities is to look after the movements or activities of personnel under them and make sure that they’re not involved in illegal activities,” Calima said.
The official said he has ordered the conduct of more random drug tests to cleanse their ranks of illegal drug users and personnel who are possibly in related activities.
He said they have also tightened the recruitment process for police applicants through stringent evaluation and tests.
“As part of our anti-corruption drive, we’re now publishing the names of the applicants so any person who may have some concerns with them can immediately contact or inform us,” Calima said.
He said they will make sure that any applicant who has questionable background will not enter the police service.