THE recent arrest of four Mindanao policemen for involvement in illegal drugs and weapons trafficking is a continuing proof that the Philippine National Police is really dead serious in its campaign to weed out rogues in uniform, PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said yesterday.
The official said that more than 9,000 erring policemen have been meted various punishments from July 2016 to date including over 800 who were dismissed from the police force for involvement in drugs.
According to Gamboa, from July 2016 up to last September 20 alone, a total of 9,172 PNP personnel or roughly 4.7 percent of the total PNP strength had been meted various degrees of penalty for administrative cases arising from involvement in criminal activities, and violation of PNP rules and regulations.
The unrelenting campaign against misfits and scalawags in uniform is being spearheaded by the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) headed by Colonel Ronald O. Lee and other intelligence units of the 17 police regional offices and national support units.
The other Monday, Police Regional Office 12 director, Brigadier General Alfred S. Corpus, announced the arrest of Staff Sergeant Herbert Mariano, a Cotabato policeman for involvement in gunrunning activities.
Corpus said that the member of the Magpet Municipal Police Station in Cotabato was arrested during a buy-bust operation in Barangay New Carmen in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat.
Recovered from the suspect and his cohorts who were not immediately identified were one M-16 automatic rifle with serial no. L356113, a caliber .45 Colt pistol with serial no. 461195, a Glock 17 Gen 4 9mm semi-automatic pistol with serial no. PNP35651, an M-16 magazine with 26 live ammunition, a .45 magazine with six bullets and a 9mm magazine with two loaded magazines and the marked money they received from an undercover officer.
Last Wednesday, security forces arrested three active members of the Marantao Municipal Police Station in Lanao del Sur during a buy-bust operation in Parang, Maguindanao which led in the confiscation of some 50 grams of shabu worth P340,000, Bangsamaro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Police Regional Office director, Brig. Gen. Marni C. Marcos Jr. told the Journal Group.
Following the arrest of Police Executive Master Sergeant Monger Nasar Aradias,47; Staff Sgt. Fahmil Bangon Como,39; and Patrolman Sandali Magundacan Manalao,35, during the 8:30 a.m. Wednesday entrapment operation, an angry Marcos ordered the administrative relief and investigation of Marantao police chief, Captain Sainodin Benasing, for his failure to fully supervise his personnel.
According to Marcos, agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and his men principally targeted a ‘high-value target’ identified as Daud Imam.
However, the entrapment operation resulted in the arrest of the three policemen who used different aliases when they negotiated the sale of the drugs with an undercover officer of the PDEA-BARMM.
Recovered from the three policemen’s possession were one big plastic sachet containing an estimated 50 grams of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine,’ the buy-bust money and one M-16 rifle and three firearms as well as dozens of live ammunition. A Toyota Innova used by the three in transporting the drugs was impounded by the PDEA.
The four arrested policemen are now facing criminal and administrative charges for grave misconduct which is punishable by dismissal from the police service.
Gamboa said that among the more than 9,000 policemen, a total of 2,806 were dismissed from service, 535 demoted in rank, 4,721 suspended, 762 reprimanded, 60 restricted to quarters, 208 forfeited salary and 80 had their privileges withheld.
“ Those dismissed from service include 454 personnel found guilty of involvement in illegal drugs, 352 of whom tested positive for drug use while 102 others were involved in drug-related activities. Over the last nine months of 2019 alone, 2,286 personnel were slapped with similar penalties for administrative case,” he explained.
“If the Internal Cleansing Program should be more forcefully implemented through a system of reward and punishment, then by all means we will implement it that way. More has yet to be done in our Internal Cleansing program. While we’ve dismissed and disciplined more than 9,000 of our personnel, this punitive measure should be deliberate and persistent in seeking the help of faith-based organizations to add more volunteers to the more than 7,000 life coaches mentoring our 190 thousand plus personnel on their weekly work-life sessions that are values driven,” the PNP-OIC added.