PNP says Robredo's remark on covering up for rogue cops has ''no basis''
The Philippine National Police ( PNP) on Monday said the latest remark of Vice President Leni Robredo that they are covering up for rogue cops has “no basis”.
"Wrong statement because (there is) no basis. We will adjudicate it so why would (she) say we're protecting them? Had we intend to protect them, why will we release the 357? That’s the last argument I am going to make with the statement,” said Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa, PNP chief, in a press briefing.
On the optional retirement offered by Gamboa to the 357 cops, he said these policemen served the country.
“They also served the country that’s why I said not unless specifically stated in the final disposition of any case that all retirement benefits are confiscated, then the commutation of accrued leave cannot be removed because the person earned it,” the PNP chief explained.
“If you think you cannot get rightful adjudication, validation then you can free yourself by optionally retiring. This is an easy way out in terms of PNP custody,” he added.
Gamboa reiterated being in the drug list does not mean the cops are guilty for being involved in the illegal drug trade but once proven, they will not hesitate on pursuing them.
“We will place you under our monitoring and build criminal cases against you because if you are already out of PNP, we cannot pursue the administrative case but on the criminal side we can still pursue. Payment of the services they have rendered, it's not an easy way out of their involvement in illegal drugs and I hope the Vice President would understand that,” he said.
In her weekly radio program at Radio Mindanao Network last Sunday, Robredo said nothing will change in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs if the PNP leadership will keep on covering up rogue cops being involved in the narcotics trade.
“For the institution not to be affected, police officials should show that they are serious in punishing those who are abusive...if they will show that they are trying to cover up, this is where the erosion of trust of people starts,” she said.
Robredo's statement came following allegation that Police Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido, one of the poster boys of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, was included in the list of 357 cops involved in illegal drugs. But Malacanang said Duterte believes that Espenido is "clean."
The PNP leadership also offered early retirement for the 357 cops included in Duterte's drug list.
“It is very important for this campaign that the institution is being trusted. If the institution is the one covering up, that is a big problem. They should be the one exerting effort to show to the people that one, they are not tolerating wrong doings. But what is happening now, when it was only an ordinary person, they have no right to defend themselves ? you are just killed ? but if you are a policeman, you are presumed innocent,” she added. Ella Dionisio/DMS