3 ‘narco generals’ facing charges
THE Palace said Sunday it is expecting that formal charges will be filed against some of the police generals that President Rodrigo Duterte had identified as protectors of the illegal drug trade.
“We must file charges first against the narco-generals,” said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar over state-run radio dzRB.
“The narco-generals will be first. Charges against two or three [narco-generals] will be filed tomorrow. But I don’t want to preempt the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, since this is his job,” said Andanar.
Andanar said next to be charged will be local government officials.
Duterte earlier named five police generals that he said were protecting drug lords, relieved three of them and ordered them to report to Philippine National Police chief Director-General Ronald dela Rosa.
The police generals denied Duterte’s accusations, and one of them decried the lack of due process.
But Dela Rosa said he would give them the opportunity to clear their names.
On Sunday, a spokesman for the PNP said the National Police Commission has established legal grounds to file charges against the high-ranking police officials.
PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, however, refused to divulged details nor provide the names of the senior PNP officials that Napolcom would be filing charges against.
“Napolcom has conducted the investigations on the named police officials and the results gave legal grounds for the filing of appropriate charges in court. The accused will now be given the opportunity to answer the charges against them. Let them have their day in court and defend themselves,” Carlos said.
Carlos said Napolcom has already completed its investigation on Director Joel Pagdilao, then chief of the National Capital Region Police Office; Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, former Western Visayas regional police head; and Chief Supt Edgardo Tinio, former Quezon City Police District.
The three police officials and two retired police generals—Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., the former deputy PNP chief for operations and Chief Supt. Vicente Loot, now mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu, were linked to illegal drugs by the President.
Earlier, DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno said his department has established prima facie evidence against the police officials based on the evidence presented by investigators but refused to offer specifics. The Interior Department has jurisdiction over Loot, now a mayor, but has not provided any updates about its investigation.
On Sunday, the President warned all officials connected to the national penitentiary—from supervisors down to prison guards—that they would be charged if they do not tell the truth about drug manufacturing and trafficking that is happening within the penal system.
“Now I am now warning everybody connected with the Bureau of Prisons in Muntinlupa, all the guards there and the supervisors, because if you do not tell the truth before any committee or any governmental body, be it the Senate or the House of Representatives, be prepared to be charged for what that [appears to be] a serious negligence of duty,” Duterte said during an early morning press conference in Davao City.
Duterte said those who will not speak the truth will either be ousted or will be assigned to Basilan or Jolo.
“I hope it is not that you were in conspiracy with the prisoners. You were there for almost all the time that these things happened. Do you mean to say that you did not report it to your superiors? Or you allowed these things to happen by yourself only [on] your authority and nobody else’s? Then be prepared to be investigated,” Duterte said.
“Administrative charges for neglect of duty or a criminal case under Revised Penal Code including special laws will be filed against any personnel for conspiring with these guys to precisely act the way they behaved there inside the prison. It could not have happened without your connivance. It could only mean conspiracy,” he added.
The President blamed the illegal drug activities inside the national penitentiary to Senator Leila De Lima, the secretary of Justice during the Aquino administration, saying she had the power to grant special privileges to the inmates.