After PNP purge, PDEA next? Abalos says 'radical' internal cleansing needed for anti-narcotics agencies

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos Jr. revealed Monday, Jan. 9, that radical measures are needed to cleanse government agencies associated with the government's anti-illegal drug campaign of personnel who are suspected to be linked to multi-billion drug deals.

DILG Sec. Benhur Abalos

Abalos, in an interview over CNN Philippines, confirmed that news about the involvement of some personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to illegal drug transactions prompted him to "appeal" for the courtesy resignation of the full colonels and generals in the police force.

He admitted being "shocked" when Police Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo Jr. was arrested inside a storage facility where 900 kilos of illegal drugs worth between P6.7 billion to P7 billion were seized last Oct. 9, 2022.

Investigators noted that the illegal drugs were stored at the Wealth and Personal Development Lending Inc. in Sta. Cruz, Manila owned by Mayo.

Three months later, Abalos cemented his desire to enforce drastic measures after the police arrested the chief of the PDEA office in Taguig City and his agents selling illegal drugs right in their headquarters.

Abalos noted that as of Jan. 9, 60 percent of the concerned PNP officials heeded his call for them to submit their courtesy resignation in a move to cleanse the police force from scalawags.

By the numbers, Abalos estimated that over 500 PNP colonels and generals had submitted their courtesy resignations and more are expected to do so in the coming weeks before the Jan. 31 deadline.

Abalos stated that he discussed the call for the resignation of ranking PNP officials with PNP chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr., and the proposal was submitted and approved by President Ferdinand "Bongbong’’ Marcos Jr.

The DILG chief explained that there were delays in the submission of the courtesy resignations of the PNP officials heeding his call due to the command conference where they have to meet and gather their troops in the provinces to explain the call and return to Manila later.

He revealed that there might be a "few" corrupt police officials who are assigned in very sensitive positions in the police force, hence, the initiative.

Abalos maintained that matters are currently being discussed thoroughly on what awaits the PNP officials who refuse to submit their courtesy resignations when the deadline elapses.

He pointed out that about three to four percent or approximately 300 PNP personnel, based on intelligence reports, are suspected to have illegal drug links, which should be "verified very, very well."

“Intel reports on errant cops must be vetted well,” Abalos said.