BARMM police chief submits courtesy resignation

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 08 January) –The chief of the Regional Police Chief of Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) and other  officers under his command have submitted their courtesy resignation in response to the call of Local Governments Secretary Benhur Abalos for police colonels and generals to resign amid reports that high-ranking officials are linked to the illegal drugs trade.

“I know everyone was taken by surprise but yun ang appeal sa amin and in support, we heeded the call to tender our courtesy resignation. It is just to pave the way for an impartial investigation on those who are into drugs,” police Brigadier General John Guyguyon said in a telephone interview with Mindanews.

Guyguyon filed his courtesy resignation on Friday, January 6. 

Police Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon, chief of the regional police in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. MindaNews file photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

He urged his men not to be disturbed by this development and to continue working. 

“It won’t disturb our work, no need to worry if malinis naman” (if we’re clean), he said.

The regional police has yet to release the total number of officers who tendered their resignation.  

Abalos in a press conference in Camp Crame in Quezon City on Wednesday called for the courtesy resignation of police colonels and generals as part of the government’s efforts to rid the Philippine National Police of officers involved in illegal drugs. 

He said he will create a special five-person team to investigate those involved. 

On Friday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his administration has long been planning to call for the courtesy resignations in the PNP.  Philippine Star quoted him as saying “we’ve been planning this for a while.”

“We know that the drug problem would not happen if it weren’t for some members of the police. That’s why we need to see who are accomplices, who are involved and who should not be in the service anymore because they’re associated with drug lords,” Marcos said in Filipino. 

But Marcos said they cannot as yet file cases “because we haven’t identified them.”

“We will form a commission and we will look into the records of all of the officers. We’ll reinstate those who are clear, and maybe we will have to decide with those who are implicated to be involved in the drug trade. Maybe in severe cases we’ll file charges,” Marcos said. 

PNP chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Thursday submitted his courtesy resignation. 

The same Philippine Star report quoted Azurin as saying in a press conference that there might be only “less than five” high-ranking police officers involved in the illegal drugs trade. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)