CEBU -- The Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, appealed to Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña on Monday, July 18, to continue to support the policemen in their fight against illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa made the appeal in a press conference at the Police Regional Office in Cebu City on Monday after Osmeña said last week that he will stop giving cash reward to police officers who can kill drug users and other criminals in legal operations.

Osmeña's statement came after the relief of Senior Superintendent Benjamin Santos as Cebu City police director.

But dela Rosa said Monday that some of the police officers who were relieved are allegedly involved in the drug trade.

"Gipangtanggal namo ang imong city director, imong mga pulis nga identified sa illegal drug trade. Pasensya na. Ing-ani katininuod ang among kumbate karon. Pasensya na sir," the PNP chief said.

"In as much as I want to please, but we have a job to do. Sana masabtan mi nimo. We really need you. Please don't abandon us in this fight. We really need you," he added.

He described Osmeña as an iron-willed leader and is hoping that the mayor will change his mind.

But he stressed that if Osmeña will decide to really not support them anymore, he said he can do nothing about it. "Ang reaksyon nako diha is what can I do? He has the full control of his government resources. But remember yong resources na intended para sa peace and order, hindi po niya yan personal. That is government resources."

He said the government resources are intended for the benefit of the people of Cebu. "Pag-ihinto niya yan. Well, as I've said, siya ang may complete control niyan dahil he is the local chief executive. But alam niya what will happen to Cebu kung magkulang ang supporta sa atong kapulisan."

Dela Rosa assured that Cebu police can survive even without the help of Osmeña.

"That doesn't dampen our spirit to fight against drugs and criminality," he said.

He then urged the policemen to continue the fight against illegal drugs.

The Duterte administration promised to eradicate drugs in the country within three to six months.

"We have to do this very abruptly. We are only given three to six months by the President. After three to six months, pag nag failure ang ating Cebu City police, I will surrender," dela Rosa said.

Asked about the alleged drug lord Peter Lim, dela Rosa said he is not judging the Cebu businessman, "unless we have concrete evidence."

"Ang drug lord di basta-basta ma pin down. I'm not saying that he is not a drug lord or he is a drug lord, unless ma pin down but in the intelligence reports, there is a drug lord named Peter Lim," he said.

PRO-Central Visayas Director Noli Taliño, for his part, said that the local government's support to the police force is indispensable. He said the reward system and incentives for the police are a great help to them.

"We are now motivated by the support of the National Government, PNP leadership and community," he said. (Tovya Kaiko Galeon, USJR intern/LMY/Sunnex)