PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he was not discounting the possibility that Caloocan police officers may have been involved in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.

Duterte made the remark a day after at least 62 Caloocan policemen were sacked following the killings of two minors in anti-drug operations in August and a robbery incident during a police operation on September 7.

Duterte said the rogue Caloocan police officers might either be drug users of drug peddlers, a reason why they “plainly kill people.”

“There are policemen might be drug users or involved in illicit drugs sale because the the entire Caloocan police [officers were] relieved. All of them [were dismissed], only one stayed,” said the President during the turnover of released hostage of communist rebels in Davao City.

“They were there to suppress the truth [by] just really plainly kill people or maybe, that’s their shabu. Aren’t you surprised that even generals are involved?” he added.

On September 15, National Capital Regional Office director Oscar Albayalde ordered the relief of all police officers in Caloocan City Police Office.

Albayalde’s order came after he found that Caloocan cops reportedly raided a house of suspected drug personality sans search warrant and stole valuables and cash amounting to P30,000.

Prior to this, Caloocan police officers stirred controversies following the deaths of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz in anti-drug sweeps in August.

Duterte expressed dismay that the aggravating drug menace “cheapens life.”

“That’s how drugs work. That is what happened when drugs prevail. It cheapens life, even the innocent ones,” the Chief Executive said.

“Son of a b***, look at the police. Why did they do that (killings of minors)? They know their mandate because they are policemen. In their first year, they have syllabus about human rights, about performance of duty, how to do it properly,” he added.

Duterte then maintained that the fight against “organized crime,” specifically the illicit narcotics trade, would be relentless, even though it may cost the lives of drug offenders.

He said his “solemn promise” is to rid the country of illegal drugs.

“There will be no let-up in the fight against organized crime. Shabu is really an organized crime… Son of a b***, I will not back out,” he said.

“I will not be remembered as the president in those time the Philippines went to the dogs because of drugs. I will not accept that. It’s either you look for another line of work, or you will get killed, even I [might get killed]. You choose,” Duterte added. (SunStar Philippines)