Eleazar orders probe on 9 'narco-generals' mentioned by Duterte in SONA

Published July 27, 2021, 2:35 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will investigate the revelation of President Duterte that there were nine police generals who were allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, the country’s top cop assured Tuesday, July 27.

Police General Guillermo Eleazar, Chief of the Philippine National Police (Photo: PNP-PIO)

PNP Chief, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar ordered a thorough probe on Duterte’s claim which was made during his sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday night.

“Iimbestigahan nating mabuti ang bagay na ito. Aalamin at tutukuyin natin ang matataas na opisyal sa PNP na sinasabing sangkot sa iligal na droga (We will investigate this matter properly. We will identify the high-ranking officials of the PNP who were accused of being engaged in illegal drug [activities]),” Eleazar said.

During his SONA, Duterte mentioned nine police generals who were supposedly part of the illegal drug trade which made his campaign promise of eliminating illegal drugs in the country within three to six months “impossible” to achieve.

He said he appointed Senator Ronald dela Rosa as a PNP chief in 2016 to “look for the enemies” in what would later become a bloody drug war that saw the deaths of more than 6,000 suspected drug personalities.

“Look where they are and if you find them, destryo the apparatus, destrol all from the manufacturers to the peddlers because we are fighting a drug war that is being participated in the business by nine generals of the PNP,” Duterte said.

“It’s in the system. Kagaya ng (Just like) drugs, sino ba namang maniwala na (who will believe that) nine generals sa pulis (in the police force) were into trafficking of drugs? And because they are policemen, the charges just simply disappear,” the President added.

In July 2016, Duterte bared the identities of five police generals whom he accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade. They were retired police Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., former National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Joel Pagdilao, former Western Visayas regional director Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, former Quezon City Police District director Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, and retired Police Gen. Vicente Loot.

All five police generals have refuted the accusations of Duterte as they denied their ties to any drug group.

However, the three police officers who were in the active service at the time — Pagdilao, Diaz, and Tinio — were fired from their posts by Duterte.

It was not clear whether the five generals were part of the nine narco-cops that were mentioned by Duterte in his final SONA.

Nonetheless, Eleazar maintained that no “ninja” or rogue cop is worthy of staying in the police organization as he stressed that one of his core programs is the intensified internal cleansing among their ranks.

“Uulitin ko, walang puwang ang organisasyon para sa mga tiwaling pulis, lalo na ang sangkot sa iligal na droga (I repeat, corrupt policemen especially those who are involve in illgeal drugs have no place in our organization),” he added.