By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. (File photo) 

MANILA  It is still open season for scalawags wearing the police uniform, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. said Friday.

This after the PNP busted two erring cops in separate buy-bust operations this week in San Fernando, Pampanga, and Cagayan de Oro City.

“It’s very unfortunate that despite our efforts of really trying to show to the public [na] binabawasan natin or tinatanggal natin ang mga misfits and scalawags [sa PNP], then here comes the two police officers who were involved in these buy-busts ([that] we reduce or eliminate the misfits and scalawags [in the PNP], then here comes the two police officers who were involved in these buy-busts),” Acorda told reporters on the sidelines of the 71st founding anniversary of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) held at Camp Crame.

“But I would like to look at a positive outlook wherein this is a manifestation [na] ang inyong kapulisan ay tuloy-tuloy sa kanyang commitment na tatanggalin ang mga pulis na medyo gumagawa ng taliwas (But I would like to look at a positive outlook wherein this is a manifestation [that] your police force is continuous in its commitment to fire the police who are doing something illegal),” he added.

Police Regional Office-3 Director Brig. Gen. Jose S. Hidalgo Jr. said the suspect was nabbed by the Pampanga police Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, Provincial Intelligence Unit, 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company, and San Fernando City police on Thursday.

Hidalgo said seized from the suspect were 50 grams of suspected shabu with a standard drug price of PHP340,000.

Last Wednesday, police also arrested an active cop and his companion in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro.

Operatives seized from the suspect sachets of suspected shabu and marijuana worth nearly PHP14,000, drug paraphernalia, and personal belongings.

Authorities are now preparing a case for Violation of Sections 5, 11, 12, & 15 of R.A. No. 9165 against the policemen and will face an administrative case for grave misconduct, which carries a penalty of dismissal from the PNP service.

“I commend the efforts of these regions and also may this serves as a warning sa mga immediate supervisors ng mga ito. Make sure that your men are properly accounted and nakikita niyo yung mga ginagawa ng inyong mga tauhan (to their immediate supervisors. Make sure that your men are properly accounted for and you can see what your men are doing),” Acorda said.

For the period Jan. 1 to date, he said 16 PNP personnel were dismissed.

Drug-cleared villages

Meanwhile, close to 28,300 villages across the country have been declared as drug-cleared, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported on Friday.

In its latest report on the national anti-drug campaign, PDEA said 28,243 out of 42,000 barangays (villages) in the country have been declared “drug-cleared” from July 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2023, while 7,268 are still being cleared by authorities.

Authorities also seized a total of PHP31.07 billion worth of illegal drugs across the country in the same period.

The latest PDEA data also showed 75,880 drug suspects were arrested during 55,495 anti-illegal drug operations.

Authorities also dismantled 822 drug dens and a clandestine shabu laboratory during the same period. (PNA)