THE Philippine National Police (PNP) guaranteed Friday, August 17, that "ninja cops" would be punished, amid President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to pursue a "relentless and chilling" drive against narcotics trade.
PNP spokesperson Police Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr. said the agency was committed to its resolve of cleansing its ranks of the so-called police "scalawags," including "ninja cops" or those who are part of the anti-drugs operating group but conduct unlawful acts like reselling of the contraband.
"In the Philippine National Police, our war on drugs is coupled with our intensified internal cleansing program. We are actually very aggressive on this," Durana told Palace reporters in a press conference.
"While we can be relentless in our campaign against drug users and drug pushers at the street level, [we] also would want to be relentless and chilling in our desire to rid our ranks of misfits and scalawags, especially those who are involved in illegal drug operation or those who are using illegal drugs," he added.
On July 23, Duterte maintained that the government's anti-narcotics drive is "far from over," stressing will be "relentless and chilling" as the day it started in 2016.
A week after Duterte's pronouncement, the PNP has announced the recalibration of its campaign against illegal drugs.
Durana admitted that there were still rogue cops who continue to "insist on their wicked ways," despite the bolstered drug war.
"Now, itong mga ninja cops na ito (these ninja cops), of course, we are not saying that we have obliterated, neutralized them up to their last man. There are still those who insist on their wicked ways. That's why we're running after them," the PNP spokesman said.
"[The] CITF, our counter-intelligence task force, was even appealing to them to surrender peacefully. Otherwise, we will put a stop to their illegal activities permanently," Durana added.
He nevertheless emphasized that the number of ninja cops has "significantly reduced."
As of Friday, August 16, around 269 police personnel have been dismissed for drug use, while 94 others have been dismissed for involvement in illegal drugs trade, Durana noted.
"So this alone will more or less communicate to the public that we do not tolerate misfits and scalawags in our campaign against illegal drugs. Our war on drugs has its good intentions. We don't want it to be marred by the irregularities attendant to the police operations of our some personnel," Durana said.
"So we will be hard on them, weeding out misfits and scalawags because a war on drugs has its very good intentions," he added. (SunStar Philippines)