A NEW Philippine National Police Unit called the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) will be officially activated today to take over the functions of the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force which will be deactivated, the Journal Group learned.
Pursuant to National Police Commission Resolution No. 2019-149 issued last February 22, the PNP National Headquarters activated the PNP-IMEG which shall be responsible for information gathering and conduct of offensive operation against erring PNP personnel. PNP-CITF commander, Colonel Romeo M. Caramat Jr. of Philippine Military Academy ‘Tanglaw Diwa’ Class of 1992, will still head the new PNP unit.
The activation of the PNP-IMEG comes in the wake of warnings made by PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde that ‘battlelines have been drawn’ versus police officers and men directly or indirectly involved in illegal drugs and those who will be caught engaging in such illicit activity will either find themselves behind bars or six feet underground should they engage officers in shootouts.
According to PNP spokesman, Col. Bernard M. Banac, since President Duterte ordered a war on drugs in July 2016, a total of 441 police officers and men have been fired from the force for their direct or indirect involvement in illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
“The number is expected to rise as the PNP under Gen. Albayalde continues an aggressive campaign to ferret out misfits and scalawags in our organization,” the PNP spokesperson said.
Of the 441 dismissed from the service, Banac said 322 tested positive for substance abuse while 190 others were found guilty of various offenses including selling and possession of dangerous drugs and coddling or protecting drug suspects.
“We are very serious in targeting rogues in uniform. As Gen. Albayalde had said, there will be no compromise when it comes to cops in illegal drugs,” said Banac.
The official said a total of 8,840 police personnel have also been disciplined for various infractions since 2016.
From February 3, 2017 to date, PNP-CITF agents have arrested 299 targets including six police commissioned officers, 99 police non-commissioned officers and 194 civilians and other law enforcement agents.
PNP-CITF operatives have also shot dead two police commissioned officers and seven non-commissioned officers in gunbattles which erupted after the suspects opted to fight it out while being arrested in entrapment operations.
Caramat said they also filed charges against 115 suspects who were not arrested apart from having filed criminal and administrative charges against 277 suspects and 198 others respectively.
Of the 277 charged administratively, 33 are PCOs while 244 are PNCOs. Of those charged criminally, 16 are PCOs while 182 are PNCOs.
Caramat said that from 2017 to present, 39 or 37 percent of the 105 policemen they arrested for various criminal offenses specifically robbery-extortion have the rank of Patrolman or Police Officer 1.
Caramat said as of last February alone, they have already received more than 15,000 complaints. Of the complaints, he said only 13 percent concerned members of the police force.
As planned, the PNP-CITF which was activated on February 23, 2017 shall be deactivated upon approval of the General Order for the creation of the PNP-IMEG by Gen. Albayalde. Consequently, the human resource, equipment, records, funds and other resources of the CITF shall be transferred to the IMEG.
Specifically, the PNP-IMEG shall conduct intelligence build-up and law enforcement operations against PNP personnel believed to be involved or protecting any illegal activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, financial crimes, cybercrime, malversation, pilferage, graft and corrupt practices, security violations and others.