PNP senior officials' mass courtesy resignation fresh start in renewed drug war- Abalos

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos, Jr. asked on Wednesday, Jan. 4, all police officials from the rank of full colonel up to generals to submit a courtesy resignation amid the controversy that hit the Philippine National Police (PNP) anew in connection with the alleged return of ninja cops, or those involved in the recycling of illegal drugs.

Abalos said the move is part of what he described as a radical approach to speed up the internal cleansing in the police organization.

"After conducting months of thorough study in connection with this problem, it appears that there is a big problem in the police. It appears that there are generals, there are colonels who are involved in illegal drugs," said Abalos in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

"And based on the recommendation of the Chief PNP (General Rodolfo Azurin, Jr) and some ranking police officials, I am calling all full colonel up to general to submit a courtesy resignation, I know that this will surprise you but this is the only way to make a fresh start," he added.

Abalos explained that the courtesy resignation of all PNP senior officials is an essential part of the efforts to win back the trust and confidence of the people in the campaign against illegal drugs.

He said the move is also for the sake of a much higher number of police personnel who put their life and their family at risk in running after illegal drugs syndicates.

"I saw for myself how most of the policemen would sacrifice their own lives for the sake of ending this problem. But how can you fight efficiently if it is your own boss who is involved," said Abalos.

"It is a very radical approach to this problem but I do believe we must cleanse our ranks so I appeal to all full colonels up to general to submit a courtesy resignation," he added.

The case of Sarge Mayo

Abalos opened the press briefing at Camp Crame with the citation of P10 billion worth of illegal drugs seized under the administration of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., with an emphasis on the Manila drug bust in October last year that yielded P6.7 billion worth of shabu, and that of the drug raid at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office in Taguig City where the local head of the PDEA and three of his men were allegedly caught selling shabu right inside the office.

It was the case of Police Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo, Jr. that further dragged the illegal drugs ePNP into the ninja cops controversy.

Mayo was arrested in October last year after a big-time drug pusher allegedly squealed his name following a successful buy-bust in Tondo, Manila wherein two kilos of shabu was seized.

The arrest of Mayo came a few hours after PNP Drug Enforcement Group discovered 990 kilos of shabu inside a lending company office allegedly owned by Mayo in Sta. Ana, Manila. The street value of the shabu seized inside the alleged Mayo-owned lending company was P6.7 billion.

Mayo himself allegedly yielded two kilos of shabu when he was arrested in Quiapo, Manila.

Ironically, Mayo was an intelligence operative of the PDEG unit in the National Capital Region when he was arrested.

What further stirred up the ninja cops controversy was that Mayo was allegedly re-assigned in Mindanao in 2016 at the height of the drug war of then president Rodrigo Duterte as a punishment for his alleged involvement in illegal drugs trade,

The Manila Bulletin earlier reported that another police general is currently being investigated after he was traced to be the one who recommended the return of Mayo to the PDEG.

Relatedly, two PDEG operatives who joined in the P6.7 billion Manila drug haul were also investigated after they were caught stealing over 40 kilos of shabu after the inventory of the 990 kilos of shabu seized inside the office of Mayo's lending company office.

The shabu was recovered after it was abandoned in front of one of the gates at Camp Crame.

The Committee of Five

Abalos said all the courtesy resignations will be submitted to what he referred to as the Committee of Five.

He said it will be the Committee of Five which will make the evaluation on whether or not the full colonel or a general would be retained in his post.

Abalos did not divulge the name of the five members of the committee for security reasons. He, however, vouched for the integrity of each of them.

Asked if the courtesy resignation may result in the paralysis of daily administrative and operational works in the PNP, Abalos explained that all the senior police officials who would submit the courtesy resignation would remain in their posts unless the Committee of Five accepts the resignation.

He said the filing of courtesy resignation includes Azurin


In arguing for the legality of his course of action, Abalos said this was not the first time that it happened.

He said the first one happened during the time of then president Fidel V. Ramos in 1992 but over a separate issue.

Abalos used the same argument in pointing out that there are no rules and regulations violated when he asked for the courtesy resignation of all PNP senior officials.

And besides, he said it was not a directive, but more of an appeal.

Abalos, however, warned that they will be using rules and regulations against those who would defy his appeal for PNP senior officials to resign.

Why not zero in on ninja cops?

At the beginning of the press briefing, Abalos said they looked into the issue of ninja cops and found out that there are some colonels and generals involved.

Asked why not focus instead on the PNP senior officials whose names cropped up in the investigation instead of mass courtesy resignation, Abalos said the illegal drugs problem involving PNP personnel is a complicated issue.