Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jun 2016
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines)
Copyright: 2016 Philippine Daily Inquirer
Author: Jaymee T. Gamil


THE OUTGOING chief of the Philippine National Police yesterday 
shrugged off Presidentelect Rodrigo Duterte's allegations that three 
"police generals" were involved in corruption or illegal drugs.

PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez told reporters that an 
investigation had been in progress even before Duterte told his 
supporters at a thanksgiving party on Saturday in Davao City that 
corruption in the police ranks should stop and that he was asking 
three "generals" assigned at headquarters to resign.

"We have not seen any evidence that will support the information of 
the involvement of active generals [in illegal drugs]," Marquez said 
in an interview after the weekly flagraising ceremonies at the PNP 
headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

"We had raw information before, and as a matter of fact, we deployed 
special teams of the anti-illegal drugs group in the Visayas, but 
until now, the work is in progress," he added.

On Saturday, Duterte warned: "Corruption must stop. I would have to 
ask ... three generals in Crame to resign. Do not wait for me to name 
you in public because I will only humiliate you."

In February, the Davao City mayor said that he knew of at least three 
high-ranking PNP officials involved in illegal drugs.

No PNP official could be asked to resign, Marquez pointed out. "We 
have a process that we need to follow for dismissal," he said.

'Internal cleansing'

Marquez said the PNP's "aggressive" campaign against illegal drugs 
had always involved "internal cleansing" of the ranks.

"It's one of the major deliverables of an organization. Whenever we 
receive a report or text message, the usual routine is to validate 
it" before launching operations against the suspects, he said.

On Saturday, Duterte also offered a bounty and urged civilians to 
arrest and even kill drug traffickers, should they fight back.

Asked for comment, Marquez urged the public to wait for Duterte's 
"official pronouncements" once he assumed the presidency.

"Every administration has its own ways. So I leave it to the incoming 
PNP chief on what he would do," referring to Chief Supt. Ronald 
"Bato" dela Rosa.

No payoffs

Marquez, who is to retire in August, said he was taking pride in what 
the PNP antidrug campaign had accomplished under his watch.

"Despite the fact that we were busy with elections the last four and 
a half months," he said, "we have accounted for more than 18,000 drug 
personalities and confiscated 500 kilograms of 'shabu' 
(methamphetamine hydrochloride)."

During a visit in Zamboanga City on Friday, Marquez referred to 
Duterte's statement that some police officials received payoffs from 
their subordinates.

"I heard that the regional director gives money to the chief PNP. It 
never happened to me. I never asked any centavo from any regional 
director. If I do command visits, I pay for my food, I pay for my 
hotel room," said Marquez, a 1982 graduate of the Philippine Military Academy.

Faithful to the badge

Marquez attended the retirement ceremony for Chief Supt. Miguel 
Antonio, who had served as Western Mindanao police director since 
2015. Named as officer in charge was Chief Supt. Billy Beltran.

Duterte's statements about police corruption have somewhat shaken 
some agencies, but Marquez said it did not bother him because he knew 
that he had not done anything wrong.

Marquez vouched for the integrity of top PNP officials that he had 
posted as regional directors, saying they could not be bribed.

"You cannot buy them," he said, adding that he had not tolerated 
scalawags in the organization.

"If they are involved in crime, we investigate. We will dismiss them 
from service, they don't deserve to stay any minute further in the 
service," he said.

Marquez said that unknown to many, as he chose not to publicize it, 
the PNP had continuously purged its ranks of erring personnel.

"A lot of people had been discharged, we dismissed a lot. Many are 
still under surveillance, cases were being built up so we can file 
airtight cases against them. It's been there, part of what we have 
been doing and we always remind our policemen, always be faithful to 
the badge you wear," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom