PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, January 16, justified his decision to fire Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo as Bacolod City Police chief, saying the latter was a "drug protector."
"Well, it seems to me that at the very least, he (Ebreo) is a protector cop. He might not be into the trafficking business but he was really a protector," the President said in a chance interview at Malacañan Palace.
"I can't believe that with all the information available to every chief of police or city police director for that matter assigned in the province, they would not review the record of the province in terms of criminality and drug trafficking. Tingin ko pinag-aralan (I think he carefully planned it)," he added.
Duterte announced his decision to fire Ebreo on January 12 for allegedly "making people of Bacolod miserable" because of the Bacolod top cop's supposed drug links.
Apart from Ebreo, Duterte also sacked Superintendents Richie Yatar and Nasruddin Daud Tayuan: Senior Superintendent Allan Rubi Macapagal; and Senior Inspector Victor Paulino for also allegedly being involved in illegal drugs.
On Tuesday, January 15, Duterte met with the five relieved police officers and expressed his dismay over their alleged role in the rampant illicit drugs trade.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte "dressed down" and "castigated" Ebreo and the four other cops for their supposed links to illegal drugs.
"[Duterte] gave the police officers a dressing down and castigated them for allowing the proliferation of illegal drugs to persist in Bacolod," Panelo said earlier Wednesday.
"The President particularly expressed his frustration as to why they had no knowledge about the presence of certain personalities in Bacolod who are involved in the illegal drug industry," he added. (SunStar Philippines)