PNP chief bats for rehabilitation, instead of dismissal, for drug-using cops

Published February 16, 2021, 3:59 PM

by Mario Casayuran

 If Philippine National Police leadership were to decide, illegal drug users among police officers will not be kicked out from the service but instead mandatorily sent to drug rehabilitation centers to reform.

Philippine National Police (PNP) (Official Gazette / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine National Police (PNP)
(Official Gazette / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP chief Director General  Debold Sinas aired this view before the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs that conducted a public hearing on drug-related bills on Tuesday, February 16.

Chaired by Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, the Senate panel took up bills that included a bill proposing to institutionalize Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) in local governments throughout the country.  The bill is authored by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III.

Current PNP protocols state that once caught, an erring PNP member is dismissed, Sinas said.

‘’But there is a tendency for (the dismissed police member) to continue (with his drug habit),’’ Sinas explained,

The  bill discussed by the committee seeks to streamline treatment procedures as it gives local government units (LGUs) the imprimatur of sustaining the illegal drug program and in addressing the menace of illegal drugs.

Sinas said he welcomes the expanded involvement of LGUs and other allied agencies in seeking long-term solutions to multi-billion-peso illegal drug trade.

The Department of Health said that there are four million drug dependents in 2016, the start of the Duterte presidency.

This figure, however, is now reduced to 1.6 to 1.7 million, based on Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) data.

There are at present 61 government- and private-run drug rehabilitation centers. Of this number, there are 21 government centers.

Government statistics show that there are now 20,165 barangays cleared of illegal drug influence while 14,171 barangays remain to be cleared.

Asked by dela Rosa whether it favors the decriminalization of drug use, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said a first offender deserves a second chance.

But a penal sanction should be imposed on a second and third-time offender because he is not scared, NBI lawyer Ross Jonathan V. Galicia said.

Dela Rosa noted that the best managed rehabilitation centers are those operated by religious orders.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) stated that reintegration after rehabilitation would be attractive to drug dependents.        

There were 1.8 million drug users who have surrendered, according to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).