PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte's "tentacles of intelligence" will prove that the relieved police chief of Bacolod City and four other police officials have links to illegal narcotics trade, Malacañang said on Tuesday, January 15.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo and four other police officials relieved by Duterte were not included in their respective drugs watchlists.
"Siguro, iba ang source of information ni Presidente. Presidente ito. Ang dami nitong tentacles of intelligence (Perhaps, the President has different source of information. He's a president. He has tentacles of intelligence)," Panelo told a press conference.
In a private event held on January 12, Duterte announced his decision to fire Ebreo; Superintendents Richie Yatar and Nasruddin Daud Tayuan; Senior Superintendent Allan Rubi Macapagal; and Senior Inspector Victor Paulino for supposed involvement in illegal drugs.
On Monday, January 14, Panelo said Duterte may have received the information about the five officials from the PNP, the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and the PDEA.
However, both the PNP and the PDEA cleared the five police officers of possible links to illegal drugs.
The two agencies, nevertheless, said they would conduct an investigation on the relieved cops, since the President announced their alleged involvement in the drug trade.
In his latest remarks, Panelo admitted that there was lack of information with regard to the drug offenders being protected by the alleged narco-cops.
"Hindi pa alam kung sino ang involved [drug personalities]. So we have to know the extent of his participation, sinong ka-contact (who's being contacted), You have to get the source," the Palace official said.
"Sa (On) criminal investigation, you get first the small fry and then malalaman mo kung saan nanggagaling 'yung source (you'll know where the source is). Hindi mo naman kaagad malalaman kung sino 'yung principal (You cannot immediately identigy the principal). Usually, you start with the small fishes)," he added.
Duterte initially summoned Ebreo and the four other police officers to Malacañang on Monday, but the meeting was postponed. (SunStar Philippines)