DAVAO CITY (PIA) - President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano to study clearly the existence of policemen selling drugs to the market by recycling contrabands confiscated during raids.
He said the order covers policemen and their cohorts up to the highest level of the chain of command who might be involved on the drug-trade.
The President said the government must know the extent of the drug trade, but stressed that the presumption of innocence must be observed at all times.
Duterte said that in the case of the alleged involvement of Police Chief Oscar Albayalde. a clear proof must be represented whether Albayalde was either on the take or is involved in the trafficking of drugs.
He said he hast to follow procedural due process and allow Albayalde time to answer.
"Eh kung yun mga criminal, binibigyan mo the presumption of innocence," Duterte said.
He said the right to be heard is given to the criminals and must be given also to the general of the Philippine National Police.
Duterte said that under the laws, everyone is equal.
"It is the burden of Secretary Ano to investigate, at ipapasa niya sa akin, I approve or disapprove with finality once it reaches my office," he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Ano said that following the president's order, he immediately gave instructions to the DILG-National Police Commission to start the verification.
"This is composed of four lawyers plus we might be summoning some officials from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and other resource persons that the DILG has to interview," Ano said.
He said the result of the DILG investigation will come out before the retirement of Police Chief General Oscar Albayalde.
Ano also reiterated the President's pronouncement that there were no generals implicated on the drug-trade, but those with a rank of a colonel.
"The President is aware that the Philippine National Police has done enough to neutralize the ninja cops. From 87, there are 22 left," he said.
Ano said he will be submitting his recommendation to the President before October 20.
He declined to make a comment on the efforts of General Albayalde to rid the police of rogue cops.
"Before the tasking I gave a statement supporting the efforts of General Albayalde, but now that I am tasked to review police agency, I cannot make a statement anymore to guarantee impartiality," Ano said. (PIA XI-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)