PNP chief disapproves dissolution of drug units, notes importance of strict vetting of personnel

MANILA. Philippine National Police Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. (Photo from PNP)
MANILA. Philippine National Police Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. (Photo from PNP)

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. said there is no need to dissolve the special operations units (SOU) of the Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) as the vetting of personnel assigned there is more important.

“After studying, may mga ibang aspeto na nakita natin na naging problema. Nakita natin that ang naging problema naman talaga is more of the personnel,” Acorda said in a press conference.

(After studying, we saw other aspects that became problems. We observed that the actual problem primarily lies in the personnel.)

“It's not on the office but the personnel, so what we wanted to do is really ‘yung proper vetting of personnel, continuous monitoring, continuous background investigation on them para to make sure that medyo walang kumakaliwa or kumakanan kungdi diretso lang ang lakad ng ating personnel. It's more of vetting rather than ‘yung ire-recall natin,” he added.

(It's not about the office but the personnel, so what we really want to do is ensure proper vetting of personnel, continuous monitoring, and continuous background investigation on them to make sure that there are no deviations or sidetracks, but rather a direct path for our personnel. It's more about vetting rather than recalling.)

Acorda, who previously served as the head of the PNP's Directorate for Intelligence, said he wants to maximize the acquisition of all necessary information to ensure that all anti-narcotics personnel of the PNP are clean.

The top cop earlier floated the possibility of dissolving the SOUs amid concerns that some of its men were actually involved in the illegal drugs trade.

This came after the arrest of Police Master Sergeant Rodolfo Mayo Jr. during a drug operation in Manila in October 2022, which resulted in the seizure of 990 kilos of shabu worth P6.7 billion, marking the largest drug haul in Philippine history.

Several policemen were also involved in the pilferage of 42 kilos of shabu during the said operation.

PDEG Director Brigadier General Faro Olaguera welcomed this development.

He said that strict vetting also aims to prevent familiarity among the drug operatives, noting that special teams will be created to work on specific projects or objectives.

He said that personnel with derogatory records will not be reinstated to the PDEG or any PNP anti-illegal drugs unit.

A total of 117 operatives of the PDEG have been relieved from their posts from March to May 29.

“As of today, yun pa rin ‘yung number ng PDEG personnel na relieve, 117 of them and the background investigation that was initiating, lifestyle check, ongoing pa naman yun. We will see once na matapos ‘yung profiling natin saka lifestyle checking kung may kailangan pa na ialis natin dito sa PDEG,” said Olaguera.

(As of today, the number of relieved PDEG personnel remains at 117, and the background investigation, including lifestyle checks, is still ongoing. We will determine if there is a need to remove more individuals from the PDEG once we complete the profiling and lifestyle checks.)

“Before we conduct that reshuffling, we will see to it na meron proper vetting (and) also, we are waiting on the result of the complete background investigation or profiling as well as lifestyle checking, which we do now,” he added.

(Before we conduct the reshuffling, we will ensure that there is proper vetting. Additionally, we are awaiting the results of the complete background investigation, profiling, and lifestyle checks, which we are currently undertaking.) (SunStar Philippines)


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