GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 Oct) – Eleven policemen in Region 12 have been dismissed from active service in the last nine months for using illegal drugs and involvement in various illegal drug-related activities in the area.
Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr., Region 12 police director, said Monday the dismissed policemen had all tested positive of using illegal drugs, specifically of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, in mandatory tests facilitated by the regional police office.
“This is part of our continuing efforts to cleanse our ranks of lawless elements who have been disguising as police officers,” he said in a radio interview.
In dismissing the 11 policemen, the police official said they no longer filed criminal charges against them but took a faster route based on the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) regulations.
The PNP’s policy guidelines regarding use of prohibited drugs has set the outright dismissal from service of any police personnel who will be tested positive of drug use, he said.
“If a policeman turns out positive of using illegal drugs, he or she already failed to meet the continuing requirement of being a member of the PNP – that is to remain as drug-free. This also means we can immediately issue separation orders against them,” the official explained.
In February, two policemen assigned in this city were subjected to dismissal proceedings after figuring in separate drug buy-bust operations conducted by the regional police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) – Region 12.
Six more police personnel were endorsed for dismissal by the regional police in July after turning positive of using illegal drugs during a random drug test.
The erring policemen were among the initial batch of 80 police personnel in Region 12 who were subjected to drug testing as mandated by the PNP central office.
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 precinct numbers 03 and 08 in this city.
The six policemen hold the ranks of Police Officer (PO) 1 to Senior Police Officer 2 and already spent 7 to 26 years in active service.
Two of these policemen – who were identified as Kadil Omar Masahod Jr., 34, and Fernando Alim, 59, both previously assigned at the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office – were arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted by the PDEA here last month.
Another police officer assigned in this city identified as PO2 Arnold Sua was dismissed after turning positive of illegal drug use following his involvement in a controversial police operation last July.
Sua was earlier charged with murder by the National Bureau of Investigation in connection with the killing of a criminology student who was mistaken by policemen as a motorcycle theft suspect.
Calima said he is hoping that the dismissal of the 11 policemen will encourage their personnel, especially the newly-hired, to take on their mandates seriously and lead clean lifestyles.
“It is not right that those who are supposed to implement the law are the ones involved in illegal activities,” he 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 involved in related activities.
He said they have also tightened the recruitment process for police applicants through stringent evaluation and tests.