MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte's "disappointment" with the police and the retirement of some officials prompted a reshuffle of its leaders as the organization fought allegations that some of officers resold seized drugs, its spokesperson said Monday.
The Philippine National Police replaced the heads of its primary investigation arm, doctrine development, anti-drug group, directorate for intelligence, and several provincial and regional units, ABS-CBN sources said over the weekend.
"Kasunod ito ng pagkadismaya ng Pangulo sa sinapit ng Philippine National Police na may kaugnayan sa isinagawang imbestigasyon dito sa mga tinaguriang 'ninja cops'," said PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
(This followed the President's disappointment with what happened to the PNP in relation to the investigation on so-called 'ninja cops.')
"Ito'y bunsod na rin ng pag-retiro ng senior officials," he added.
(This is also due to the retirement of some senior officials.)
Duterte last week spent some 30 minutes telling top police officials about his disappointment over the drug recycling scandal and reminded the group of the support he provided n the form of equipment and higher salaries, Banac earlier said.
The rebuke came as "more than 10 officials" reached retirement age, most senior of who is PNP Deputy Director Gen. Fernando Mendez, Jr., said Banac.
"Tuloy-tuloy ang changes para maipakita rin natin sa ating mamamayan na ang PNP ay handa naman magkroon ng reporma at pagbabago, at maibalik natin ang tiwala nila," he told radio DZMM.
(The changes will continue so we can show the public that the PNP is ready for reform and so that we can restore their trust.)
The PNP is at the helm of Duterte's 3-year-old anti-narcotics crackdown which has killed some 6,600 drug suspects. The figure is roughly half of estimates of human rights groups critical of the bloody campaign.
Only 454 policemen have been banished from the organization as of Sept. 20 this year for drug-related cases, according to official PNP data.