By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has deferred action on the recommendation of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to dismiss from the service the police sergeant who was arrested in an operation that yielded PHP6.7 billion worth of shabu in Manila in October last year.

Speaking to reporters at Camp Crame, Quezon City on Monday, Azurin said he wants to ensure that there would be no loopholes in the dismissal of Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo Jr., a member of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG).

“I directed the DLOD (Discipline, Law and Order Division) of our DIDM (Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management) under Maj. Gen. Eli Cruz, because I don’t want this to be reversed on technicality later on. We want to make sure that the recommendation of the IAS will be sustained and will not be reversed which may result in the reinstatement of this police officer into the service,” Azurin said.

He said he wants concerned offices to ensure the observance of certain procedures and documentation processes so that Mayo cannot use in his defense that PNP did not observe the due process in rendering a decision on his dismissal.

Azurin, meanwhile, said he does not see any reason to relieve PNP Drug Enforcement Group chief Brig. Gen. Narciso Domingo, following the arrest of Mayo and another PDEG police in a buy-bust in Manila.

“It’s actually them (PDEG) who arrested Mayo. So I don’t see command responsibility there because they are the ones who arrested Mayo,” he said.

On Oct. 8 last year, Mayo, yielded PHP13.6 million worth of shabu inside his lending company office in Quiapo, Manila.

Last Jan. 16, Sgt. Ed Dyson Banaag was arrested in a buy-bust in Manila and yielded around 25 grams of shabu worth PHP170,000.

“Based on our initial findings, Sgt. Banaag was issued an order from the CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) to PDEG. Unfortunately, from the time he was arrested, he has not reported to the PDEG. So in effect, if you look at it, he is even AWOL there. So the PDEG director did not have direct control over Banaag at that time of his arrest,” Azurin said.

PNP records show that Banaag was assigned at PDEG last Jan. 4 but until the time of his arrest, he has yet to report to his assignment.

Mayo’s arrest prompted an investigation which, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said, revealed that some high-ranking police officials were involved in the illegal drugs trade.

This prompted Abalos, with the approval of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., to call for the courtesy resignation of all police colonels and generals to weed out scalawags from the police force.

Only 10 out of a total of 951 third-level police officers, which include generals and full colonels, have yet to submit their courtesy resignations with the deadline on Tuesday.

A five-member committee will evaluate and assess the courtesy resignations of the police officers. (PNA)