PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas yesterday assured the public that their regular drug testing program will continue without letup to ferret out members of the police force hooked on illegal substance.
“Anybody who will test positive for drug use does not deserve to stay in the service any minute longer,” the PNP chief said as he vowed to spare no one in their ongoing purge of policemen who are using shabu or marijuana.
Sinas said police officers and men who will test positive for substance abuse will be immediately stripped of their PNP-issued firearms and badge and subjected to summary dismissal proceedings. Once dismissed from the service, the erring policemen’s pay and other retirement benefits and remuneration will be forfeited in favor of the government regardless of their length of service.
They will also be facing criminal charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Last week, the PNP chief ordered the conduct of summary hearing procedures against a police major and a non-commissioned officer who tested positive for substance abuse during an initial screening and confirmatory test conducted by the PNP Crime Laboratory.
“Time and time again, we have stressed that there is no room for drug-using men in police uniform and these two will find themselves dismissed from the police force just like the others who tested positive for drugs last year. We assure the public that we don’t tolerate any of our personnel who are using drugs even if they are police commissioned officers,” the top cop told the Journal Group.
The PNP chief said Major Jivertson Pelovello, chief of the Zamboanga City Police Office Drug Enforcement Unit, was found using drugs during an initial screening conducted by members of the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 9 on local policemen last December 18.
A total of 60 local policemen including 12 DEU operatives were subjected to the test but only Pelovello tested positive for substance abuse. A confirmatory test done on the same urine specimen he submitted for testing yielded a positive result last January 6.
Police Regional Office 9 director, Brigadier Gen. Ronaldo Genaro E. Ylagan said the police officer has been stripped of his issued firearm, relieved from his present assignment and reassigned to the PRO9 Regional Personnel Holding and Administrative Unit while the administrative charges against him for grave misconduct is being heard.
Sinas also ordered the conduct of summary dismissal proceedings on Master Sergeant Edherson Quijano, a member of the National Police Training Unit based in Laguna after he tested positive for shabu. The policeman was also placed under restrictive custody by his superiors while awaiting pre-charge investigation and summary dismissal proceedings.
“This should serve as a warning to PNP personnel, whether officer or support staff. Nobody is exempt from mandatory and random drug testing. Test positive and you will be dismissed. There is no place in the PNP for drug users,” the PNP chief said.
Quijano, assigned with the Regional Training Center-4A of the NPTI was found positive for drug use during mandatory drug testing conducted on personnel of NPTI. Sinas instructed NPTI director, Major Gen. Alex B. Sintin to expedite the administrative case against Quijano following the same work plan and timeline applied in the cases of other personnel who similarly tested positive for drug use.
A graduating cadet and a civilian band member of the PNP Academy, and a police corporal in CARAGA region are also under investigation after testing positive for drug use during recent random testing.
Two other members of the Calabarzon police force also tested positive for shabu last week. Police Regional Office 4-A director, Brig. Gen. Felipe R. Natividad identified the two as Staff Sergeant Emil Janairo, a desk officer of the Calamba City Police Station in Laguna who tested positive for shabu last January 4; and Patrolman Lordson Custodio of the Candelaria Municipal Police Station in Quezon who tested positive for shabu last Wednesday.
The Journal Group earlier reported that a member of the Police Regional Office 13 in Caraga region became the 1st member of the PNP who will undergo summary dismissal proceedings this year after he tested positive for shabu during a mandatory drug test last week.
Corporal John Rey Ibasco, assigned with the PRO13 Regional Logistics and Research Development Division was found positive for shabu during an initial screening and a confirmatory test conducted by the PNP Crime Laboratory, said Sinas.
Thus, the Caraga policeman went on record to be the 1st member of the PNP to test positive for substance abuse since 2021 started. In 2020, a total of 47 policemen were found positive for shabu and are now undergoing summary dismissal proceedings.
According to PRO13 director, Brigadier Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr., Cpl. Ibasco tested positive for substance abuse during a mandatory drug testing in Butuan City last week.
Last week, the Journal Group learned that a 41-year old policeman from Central Visayas became the 47th member of the PNP to test positive for substance abuse in 2020 and thus will be undergoing summary hearing procedure after being disarmed by his superiors.
The policemen tested positive during an initial screening test and later a confirmatory test using the PNP Crime Laboratory’s GCMC machine or Gas Chromatography Spectrometer Equipment, said Sinas, himself a former PNP Crime Lab director.