PNP chief stands firm with relief of 35 Davao cops

MANILA. Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Rommel Marbil.
MANILA. Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Rommel Marbil.Photo from PNP

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief General Rommel Marbil stood firm with the approval of the administrative relief of 35 policemen assigned at the Davao City Police Station amid the ongoing probe into the death of seven alleged drug suspects after the declaration of “drug war” in the city in March.

In an interview with reporters, Marbil said the relief of these personnel is a regular procedure to ensure the transparency and fairness of the ongoing probe.

“’Yung sa relief, ito ay recommendation ng IAS (Internal Affairs Service) natin and tama ‘yung recommendations nila. Ang gusto lang talaga natin is umalis muna sila para magkaroon ng tamang investigation. Administratively relieved po sila but kung napatunayan na wala po silang kasalanan, dadalhin po natin, ibabalik natin sa kanilang trabaho,” he said.

(As for the relief, this is a recommendation of our IAS (Internal Affairs Service) and their recommendations are correct. All we really want is for them to leave first so that there can be a proper investigation. They are administratively relieved, but if it is proven that they are innocent, we will bring them back to their jobs.)

Marbil cited the relief of the entire personnel of Navotas City Police Station following the killing of 17-year-old Jhemboy Baltazar by policemen over mistaken identity.

The relieved Davao police personnel include six station commanders, five deputy commanders, 23 Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs), and former city director Colonel Richard Bad-ang, who served the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) for only two months.

Earlier, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte condemned the suspension of the DCPO personnel, saying it is "an abuse of power from higher authorities."

He said the decision also raised significant concerns within their community and among the law enforcement officers.

“It is important to ask why such a sweeping measure is necessary when, other regions have addressed similar situations with more targeted investigations. In those instances, only the commanding officers or those immediately involved in the incidents were scrutinized, allowing the rest of the personnel to continue their duties uninterrupted. Why is a different standard being applied in Davao City?” he said.

“This action raises questions about the consistency and fairness of the disciplinary process. If the goal is to ensure accountability and transparency, a more focused approach would better serve these principles without causing widespread disruption. Relieving all 35 personnel without distinguishing individual level of involvement or responsibility seems unjust and may erode trust within the ranks of our police force,” added Duterte, son of former President Rodrigo Duterte. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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