In his first conference of the year at Camp Crame on January 3, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos asked some 429 generals and colonels in the Philippine National Police to tender their “courtesy resignation” from their posts to weed out officers who are allegedly linked to drug syndicates.
The surprising move shocked the police force. “This will be very difficult, a very radical approach to this problem, but I do believe we must cleanse our ranks,” Abalos said.
A five-member committee is in place to evaluate the resignation of the police officers whose names were not disclosed for security. Those who would comply with the call for resignation, according to Abalos, remain in the service until resignations are accepted by the President.
“They should not be afraid. If they’re innocent and not involved in drugs, then there should be no problem. If they will not file their resignation, then that’s sort of questionable,” Abalos said.
While there are already suspected police officials involved in protecting drug syndicates that can go to trial, Abalos admitted that this move was a shortcut to the lengthy judicial process of filing cases in court and securing convictions.