Duterte clarifies 2 PNP officers ‘playing with drugs’ are colonels, not generals

Published October 6, 2019, 9:56 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Genalyn Kabiling 

The two police officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade hold the rank of colonel, not general, President Duterte clarified Sunday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the decommissioning of the arms and forces of the 727 Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa - Pilipinas/ Revolutionary Proletarian Army/ Alex Boncayao Brigade - Tabara-Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA/ABB-TPG) at the Camp General Macario B. Peralta, Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz on September 19, 2019. (ALFRED FRIAS / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President made the clarification after admitting he was confused by the old rank classification in the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“I must admit my ignorance actually…Walang generals. I’m sure of that. Sa aking report na dumating sa akin, wala. Parang — colonel I think [There are no generals. I’m sure of that. Based on the report given to me, there’s none. I think colonel],” he said during a press conference upon arrival in Davao City from his visit to Russia.

“Nalilito kasi ako diyan sa superintendent-superintendent na ‘yan kasi ang alam ko lang superintendent ‘yung superintendent ng eskwelahan [I am confused with the superintendent rank because the only superintendent I know is a school superintendent],” he said.

He noted that he already signed a law that modifying the rank classification of police officers for better public understanding.

“Sa panahon ko sabi ko bumalik kayo doon sa police colonel, police major, police lieutenant, kasi pati lahat ng tao nalilito ‘yang sup-sup na ‘yan. Superintendent pala ‘yan eh [During my term, I said we will return to police colonel, police major, police lieutenant because all people are confused with Supt-Supt. It’s superintendent],” he said.

During the recent Valdai forum in Sochi, Russia, the President announced that two generals were involved in the illegal drug trade. He said there were two generals “who are still playing with drugs,” without naming them.

READ MORE: 2 generals involved in drug trade – Duterte

Duterte made the remarks while defending the administration’s war on drugs before the international community. “I told you do not destroy my country because it is being flooded with drugs,” he warned.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo later said the President was referring to two police generals who have been accused of protecting ninja cops.

“The President’s unyielding posture against illegal drugs and those who destroy the country, regardless of whether they belong to the government, by spreading these substances in our communities, will not waver,” he said.

“As our Chief Executive has mentioned in many occasions, there will be hell to pay for those who become worse than criminals,” he added.