MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa said on Wednesday the issue with Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido’s remarks of “failure of intelligence” over the latter’s inclusion on the list of police officers allegedly involved in illegal drugs is now an internal matter.
“It’s purely an internal issue. I will deal with Espenido squarely as the chief PNP and he, being a member of the PNP (Philippine National Police),” Gamboa told reporters on the sidelines of the 1st anniversary of the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Espenido earlier expressed dismay over his inclusion on the list in press conferences regarding the issue.
Gamboa has been mum on the names of those included on the watchlist despite repeated questions from the media.
He, however, did not specify how the PNP would deal with Espenido’s statements as police officers on the list were barred from speaking to the public regarding the matter.
In recent media briefings, Gamboa refused to confirm the inclusion of Espenido, reiterating his promise to the 356 policemen that he would not humiliate them by revealing their names.
“We’re coming up with social media protocols for PNP personnel because we have to resort to our own internal mechanism. So why Espenido? That’s why I will deal with him internally,” Gamboa said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, meanwhile, advised Espenido to clear himself through the validation process, stressing that it is the proper venue to do so.
Año told the reporters that Espenido has an opportunity to invalidate his inclusion on the drug list.
The narcolist is a consolidation of intelligence and other reports from law-enforcement agencies and still needs to be verified and validated. The list also includes local officials and judges as well as other personalities.
Meanwhile, Gamboa said he will submit the validation results on the police officers during the joint command conference of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with President Rodrigo Duterte on March 5.
The validation process involves adjudication at the regional and directorial level for one week before the cases go to the national level which will handle the cases for three weeks.
Once all the cases are submitted to the Office of the Chief PNP, it will take three days for him to submit the results of the adjudication to the President for approval.
PNP’s National Adjudication Board, under deputy chief for administration, Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, has one month to finish the validation of the information on these police officers.
The board will then take action against those on the list who would be proven as involved in the illegal drug trade, Gamboa added.
77 charged by PNP anti-scalawag unit
Meanwhile, the anti-scalawag unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has filed charges against 77 persons in various police operations in its first year.
During the PNP-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG)’s first anniversary celebration on Wednesday, IMEG chief, Col. Ronald Lee said those criminally charged include 38 civilians, six police commissioned officers (PCO), 32 police non-commissioned officers (PNCO) while one non-uniformed personnel was administratively charged before the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS) in connection with their involvement in illegal activities.
The arrested civilians were cohorts of erring police personnel.
Also, one retired policeman was killed in an operation after resisting arrest by operatives.
IMEG operatives also seized cash worth over PHP1 million, 22 assorted firearms, 35 gun magazines and 29.81 grams of shabu worth PHP200,000. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)