The Philippine National Police (PNP) does not see as a double standard the decision of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to refrain from announcing the names of senior police officers whose courtesy resignation will be approved due to ties to illegal drug activities.
PNP spokesperson Police Col. Jean Fajardo said the organization respects DILG Sec. Benhur Abalos’ decision not to publicize the names of police officials whose courtesy resignation will be accepted by the five-man committee that will evaluate their records.
“This call for courtesy resignation is just the initial stage. The SILG and PNP Chief already explained that. If during the evaluation and assessment, it shows that there is enough basis to prove their links, does not stop from their resignation,” Fajardo explained.
When Abalos appealed to the PNP colonels and generals last Jan. 4 to resign as part of a "radical" move to cleanse the organization of police scalawags, Azurin had said that the officers will comply although he urged the department to reveal the identities of the so-called ninja cops.
But in a press briefing at Camp Crame on Friday, Jan. 13, Abalos said that "there is no need" for the evaluation committee to publicize the names of officials whose resignation will be approved.
The PNP spokesperson said the findings of the committee will be forwarded to the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) and officers who will be proven to have links to illegal drug activities will be charged with corresponding criminal cases.
But Fajardo noted that the officers can still appeal the findings of the committee, which explains the reason why Abalos opted to keep their names in secret after the initial investigation.
“If there is a need to release the names in the interest of transparency, then we need to wait for the process to be completed. We don't want to jump into conclusion and release them in haste. They might exercise their rights to question or in fact exhaust their legal remedies to somehow clear their names,” she stated.
Abalos said 904 out of the total 953 third level officers (95 percent) of the PNP have already complied to his call for a courtesy resignation to rid the ranks of rogue cops.
He said the remaining 49 officers who have yet to submit courtesy resignation are expected to comply within the week.
The total number of targeted police officers was actually reduced from the original record of 956 since it was bared that some of the officers have already retired. However, Abalos said they are not yet off the hook since the monitoring of the DILG will continue.