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35 mayors in drug trade, says Duterte

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DAVAO CITY (PNA) – Local chief executives with links to the illegal drugs business cannot pick their chief of police, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said.

Duterte said he would ask for the amendment of the law giving mayors the operational supervision and control of the police.

“I will not assign to you a chief of police of your choice. I would even amend that law…sila sila mismo naglalaro diyan,” Duterte said.

Republic Act 8551, an act establishing the Philippines National Police under a re-organized Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) gives the mayors the power to direct employment and deployment of units or elements of the PNP through the station commander.

The same law also gives local chief executives the authority to choose the chief of police from a list of five eligible recommended by the provincial police director, preferably from the same province, city or municipality.

Without mentioning names, Duterte revealed there are around 30 to 35 mayors who are players in the illegal drugs trade.

Duterte said he would assign police officers that would look into the drug activities of local chief executives.

“We will not be able to improve this country…let us put a stop to this play,” he told police during the turnover of command at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) on Friday afternoon, as he ordered police to apprehend drug pushers, dead or alive.

“If you encounter criminals – ask them to surrender. If he chooses to fight – and if you feel you will die unahan niyo na patayin mo,” he said.

But he said it would be a different story if police kill criminals with hands tied. He told them not to kill criminals with hands tied otherwise “hindi lang ako ang kalaban niyo pati human rights…”