Cleansing the PNP

3 regional cops face drug charges: PRO XI

 THREE cops assigned in two provinces in the region are facing cases for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

 One of the suspects was identified as PO1 Kenneth G. Casane, assigned in Davao Oriental Provincial Office, who is currently detained at Mati Provincial Rehabilitation and Reformatory Center. His case is now forwarded to the Regional Legal Service and Discipline, Law and Order Section.

 Casane’s offenses include grave misconduct for violating Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act for possessing illegal drugs and conduct of unbecoming a police office. The other cops with pending cases are PO2 Otto Lumogdang and PO1 Romel Parreño, assigned to Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office, for testing positive in random drug test.

 This was a result of the government’s intensified anti-drug campaign, which has been implemented since July last year.

 Once proven, Chief Insp. Andrea dela Cerna, spokesperson of PRO XI, said yesterday in AFP-PNP press conference at Royal Mandaya Hotel that a police officer can be suspended for 30-60 days or dismissed for grave misconduct.

 “We will never condone those police officers involved in illegal activities especially in drugs,” dela Cerna said.

 There are a total of 7,746 police in the region, she said.

 The Philippine National Police has also established last year Counter Intelligence Task Force (CTIF), which monitors and works on the complaints against rogue cops.

 “This is one way of policing our ranks,” dela Cerna said, adding that they will not tolerate those who are engaged in illegal activities.

 Meanwhile, the police arrested 2,306 persons in the region since July 1 last year up to Sept. 30 this year as a result of their intensified anti-drug campaign. This also resulted to the killing of 144 drug suspects during police operations.

 The PRO XI also recorded 65,252 drug users and pushers who surrendered.

 Though most of these belonged in the lower class, dela Cerna said they were also able to arrest high value targets. “We are not choosing anyone. It just happened that most are poor as they needed money to get out of poverty as drug trade could make anyone generate money easily,” she said.

 The Social Weather Stations recently polled that three in five Filipinos believe that only the poor are killed in the anti-drug campaign of the government. The survey was conducted between June 23 and 26 involving 1,200 Filipinos nationwide.

 On the statement, “rich drug pushers are not killed; only the poor ones are killed,” 33% strongly agreed and 27% somewhat agreed.

 President Rodrigo Duterte has been criticized for his war on drugs, which reportedly cost thousands of lives. The police, meanwhile, claim under 4,000 have been killed in legitimate drug operations as opposed to the 14,000 being reported as extra-judicial killings.