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‘Police Avengers’ to run after big-time drug lords

Chief Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, incoming chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), is now forming his own team of “Police Avengers” that would focus on running after big-time drug lords in the National Bilibid and even in the government and the small-time drug peddlers on the streets.

This means that there would be a massive revamp in police organization especially in the provincial and regional level when he formally assumes the top police post on July 1.

“There would be a reshuffle. Almost everybody will be affected,” said dela Rosa.

In the position of regional directors for instance, dela Rosa said he would replace at least 15 of the 18 sitting police regional directors whom he said would be able to meet the three to six months deadline for the PNP to end the illegal drugs problems across the country.

Dela Rosa said he would personally pick police officials whom he had and has been continuously assessing to have the guts for a showdown with drug syndicates across the country.

“This is to ensure that they would really deliver, ‘yung hindi matatakot na bumangga kahit sinong banggain nila,” said dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa said there is a need to replace the regional directors, saying the current set up did either nothing or so little about the illegal drugs problem in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

The proof, he said, is the worsening illegal drugs problem across the country.

And based on the realities on the ground, police commanders’ actions against illegal drugs syndicates are affected by the involvement of the local government officials — from the mayors to governors.

In the current set up, the mayors and the governors are the ones choosing the town or city chiefs of police and the provincial police director.

Earlier, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said there are at least 35 local chief executives involved in illegal drugs protection racket.

“Most of our commanders are afraid because of the involvement of the mayors or governors and even congressmen. So I will place police commanders who are not afraid,” said dela Rosa.

Aside from the regional levels, the massive revamp is also expected to affect almost all of the provinces and even down to the city or municipal police chiefs.

But in appointing his commanders, dela Rosa assured that he would not prioritize his classmates, saying he has his own criteria that fits even his upperclassmen in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). (AARON B. RECUENCO)

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