Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, has ordered a probe into the alleged involvement of some 357 policemen in the illegal drug trade.
In a phone interview with reporters on Friday, Gamboa said these cops are still presumed innocent pending results of the investigation.
“We expect to do so in a period of one month,” he said.
Gamboa disclosed that the move is part of the continuing internal cleansing among police ranks, which he proposed to President Rodrigo Duterte during Thursday night’s joint command conference with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Malacañang.
“We would like to request your approval on this and the President approved it,” he said.
Gamboa noted that once the investigation is completed, they would submit the results and recommendations to the President.
“We ourselves are going to process them, adjudicate, and validate the information that they are involved and hopefully those who are innocent may clear their names but those who are not may face the full force of the law,” Gamboa said.
He said on the list are police officers with a rank of brigadier general down to patrolman.
The process aims to establish substantial proof against these police officers that can be used as a basis for filing charges against them.
Gamboa ordered the police officers to report to his office over the weekend. They would then be referred to their specific regions as the adjudication process starts on February 10.
He said these cops would be processed through the regional, national support unit, or directorial staff adjudication boards, where they will be heard and adjudicated for a week.
For the next three weeks, the PNP National Adjudication Board, led by Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for administration, would take action on those on the list.
Intelligence from different groups, such as Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), would bolster the validation, Gamboa added.
He said those who would be proven to have no connection with illegal drugs will be removed from the drug watch list.
Meanwhile, a case build-up that may lead to administrative and criminal charges would be conducted against those who will be proven to be involved in illegal drug transactions.