By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. said Sunday that top police officials who will be allowed to resign after submitting courtesy resignations and those who opted to retire early would still be thoroughly investigated.
“The process does not end upon the acceptance of courtesy resignation,” Abalos said in a statement.
So far, 97 percent of the 953 generals and full colonels have submitted their courtesy resignations, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said.
Abalos said those who will be allowed to resign and retire are yet to undergo a rigorous investigation and monitoring.
“Huwag nilang akalain na kapag nagretire na sila ay lusot na sila. Hindi po. Tuloy-tuloy ang monitoring, tuloy-tuloy ang case buildup sa kanila (Don’t let them think that once they retire they will get through. No. There will be continued monitoring and case buildup against them),” he said.
A five-man committee will be created to investigate and assess the officials who were asked to tender their resignation and will make recommendations to the President.
Former police official and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong was earlier named as one of the members of the panel. The other four are yet to be announced.
“Ang hinihintay natin yung official announcement, iaannounce pa yung composition nung five-man committee na magsasagawa ng pagsusuri dito sa mga nagsubmit ng courtesy resignation (What we are waiting for is the official announcement, the composition of the five-man committee that will conduct an examination of those who submitted courtesy resignations),” Fajardo said in a radio interview.
Abalos is expected to announce soon the composition of the team and how the assessment would be done, she added.
“Ang sabi ni Sec. Abalos that the team is already there. We are also waiting on how are they going to assess those who submitted their resignation (“What Sec. Abalos said that the team is already there. We are also waiting on how are they going to assess those who submitted their resignation),” she said.
Abalos said the National Police Commission (Napolcom) would also review the names of police officers whose resignations will be accepted.
“Importante sa akin yun, salang-sala (That’s important to me, they should be thoroughly screened) I’d rather have one man who is guilty get off the hook than one innocent person dismissed,” Abalos said.
He assured though that the five-man committee and Napolcom will be guided by evidence at hand before making any decision.
“Our justice system is founded upon the principle that we protect the innocent and make sure that only the guilty are punished. That is our solemn duty, and we will not rest until this is carried out,” Abalos said.
Fajardo, meanwhile, said those officers who will be found to have links with illegal drug activities will face charges. But they can appeal the findings and secure other legal remedies.
Earlier, PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said at least 10 police officials were allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
He was not sure though if these 10 officers have submitted their courtesy resignations. (PNA)