Azurin submits courtesy resignation, urges over 950 colonels, generals to do the same

The four highest officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. have submitted courtesy resignation in an apparent bid to set an example to 952 others police colonels and generals to do the same as part of the "radical" internal cleansing amid allegations of the return of ninja cops in the organization.

"All of us in the Command Group have already submitted. This means that the senior officers are willing to be subjected to the assessment because of the repeated allegations (of involvement of ranking officials in the illegal drug trade). This must stop once and for all," said Azurin.

The Command Group is composed of the Chief PNP as the highest police official, the Deputy Chief for Administration (Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia), the PNP's number two post; the Deputy Chief for Operation (Lt. Gen. Benjamin Santos Jr.), the PNP's number three post; and, the Chief of the Directorial Staff (Maj. Gen. Michael John Dubria), as the fourth highest post in the PNP.

He then expressed optimism that the submission of the courtesy resignation of the PNP top brass in response to the appeal of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos would finally put an end to the issue which has been hounding the police organization over the years.

On Wednesday, Jan. 4, Abalos appealed to all PNP colonels and generals to submit courtesy resignation as he disclosed that there were senior officials involved in illegal drugs trade which became controversial following the series of incidents that stemmed from the confiscation of 990 kilos of shabu from the lending agency office of a police sergeant in Manila in October last year.

It was an appeal as both the DILG and the PNP cannot compel the senior officers to resign, although Abalos said that they may use some rules and regulations against those who would defy his appeal.

Be fair

The Committee of Five, whose names were submitted and would be picked by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. will conduct the evaluation of all the police colonels and generals to determine their integrity and fitness to remain in their posts.

Since it is a courtesy resignation, those who would file will remain in their posts until such time that the Committee of Five accepts the resignation.

"Though we heed the call of SILG, we respectfully demand the members of the said committee to maintain their reputation of an impeccable character, probity, fairness and unquestionable integrity throughout the process," said Azurin.

He explained that what is stake in the evaluation process are careers reputations, families and even lives of the police colonels and generals.

"Now, I am calling on all the 956 PNP Generals and Colonels, to have the courage to subject yourselves to the process. Let us not put the organization in a disarray and, as officers and gentlemen, let us be guided by the wisdom of our leader," said Azurin.

"Likewise, I am calling for all Commanders of the PNP units to also take the lead and heed the call of our leader. I am expecting that our commanders have understood the wisdom behind this and will willingly embrace the intention of it," he added.

The police officers with the rank of full colonel up to generals are referred to as 3rd level officers.

In urging all of them to submit courtesy resignation, Azurin said the move is more a moral challenge rather than a legal battle.

"Thus, we likewise respectfully demand that the process be made objective, impartial, judicious, and fair. We demand as well that the proceedings be made apolitical, and that personal issues and biases be set aside for a more acceptable outcome," said Azurin.