A TOTAL of 624 policemen are being investigated by the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) for their involvement in the killing of armed drug personalities in reported gunbattles in different parts of the country since July 1, officials said yesterday.
The 624 includes 324 Police Commissioned Officers (PCOs) and 299 Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs) who were involved in 575 police anti-narcotics operations that left 753 suspected drug dealers dead since July 1, said lawyer Sheilla Ujano-Castillo, the head of the Legal Affairs Division of the PNP-IAS.
Castillo said the PNP-IAS headed by Chief Supt. Leo Angelo Leuterio conducted a motu propio investigation into the 575 shooting incidents. Of the total number of cases, investigation into 461 is still pending while the probe into 15 others has been terminated by the PNP-IAS. Another 98 cases were ordered dropped and closed while one is now undergoing summary hearing.
Castillo said they are also investigating 82 policemen whose names were mentioned by confessed drug traffickers and users who surrendered as a result of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang ordered by PNP chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa.
Forty of the 82 are PCOs while 42 are PNCOs. The PNP-IAS lawyer also said that of the 96 PNP personnel included in the list of drug protectors named by President Duterte, 47 have surrendered to the PNP-IAS. Of the 47, four PCOs and nine PNCOs have denied the allegations against them and are not cooperating with investigators.
Another 34 composed of 16 PCOs and 18 PNCOs denied the allegations against them but have been deemed cooperative with the PNP.
Twenty-eight others composed of eight PCOs and 20 PNCOs failed to appear before the PNP-IAS. However, PNP spokesman, Senior Supt. Dionardo B. Carlos said some of those who failed to appear before the PNP-IAS, a number of them former security personnel of local chief executives included in the President’s drug list, have already surrendered to their mother units.
Carlos said that these policemen were immediately instructed to return to their mother units for investigation after their names were read out by the President.
Meanwhile Castillo admitted that the PNP-IAS lacks sufficient investigators to carry out its job effectively. She said that the PNP-IAS general headquarters in Camp Crame alone has only 17 investigators, thus the need for the agency to recruit more highly-trained investigators.