In his boldest move yet as the country’s latest commander-in-chief, maverick President Rodrigo Duterte ordered three police generals relieved and two retired police directors undergo investigation for possible involvement in drugs.
Duterte made the revelation during yesterday’s 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
Duterte announced the names of Generals Joel Pagdilao, former National Capital Region Police Office chief; Edgar Tinio, former Quezon City Police District (QCPD) chief; Berrnardo Diaz, former Region 11 police director; and retired generals Marcelo Garbo and Vicente Loot who recently won the mayoralty race in the municipality of Daanbantayan, Cebu.
“Imbestigahan ninyo ito. hanapin ninyo ang totoo. Dumating ako sa position na ito, I have a sacred obligation to the Filipino people. There are so many validations. Even when I was mayor of Davao City talagang lumabas na mga pangalan nito,” revealed Duterte.
During his speech, Duterte encouraged the police and military forces to lay everything on the line in their fight against the drug menace.
“I just want you to be brave. Wag kayo matakot mamatay. Pinili nyo ‘yan. Hindi naman kayo pinili para pumunta d’yan,” said Duterte “Hindi ako uurong dito. I will stake my life, honor, and even presidency.”
During their recent speeches, Duterte and his top police chief General Ronald dela Rosa warned certain generals to resign from their posts and enjoy their retirement benefits.
This time, Duterte daringly named the said generals as protectors of drug lords.
“Huwag ninyong sirain ang bayan ko. At the end of my speeches, I always end it by saying do not destroy my country because I will kill you. Kung di pa sapat mga ‘yan ewan ko na lang,” said Duterte.
Duterte, in his usual fighting stance, promised to fulfill his campaign promise of getting rid the county of crime and drugs in the next three to six months of his administration.
He, however, assured everyone that his order will be within the bounds of the law.
“It is going to be a dirty, bloody fight. I am not apologizing for it. I assume full legal responsibility for it,” said Duterte.
TINIO, LOOT SPEAK
Tinio, in an interview, denied Duterte’s accusation, saying it is quite unfair that his name has been included on the list of police officials involved in illegal drugs because he served the PNP to the best of his abilities.
“Kailan, papaano ako na-involve? Ang sabi ko nga I’m willing to undergo a lie detector test to prove that I’m not involved in illegal drugs,” Tinio said.
Tinio added that the President and PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, should have spoken to them first before making the announcement.
“Foul iyun (announcement) Sana pinatawag muna niya kami as an officer and a gentleman. Sinira na niya (President Duterte) kami, sinira na niya ang pamilya namin. Anong klase naman iyun?”, Tinio said.
“I’m willing to be interviewed, to undergo any investigation to clear my name… I’m willing to face the President and the chief PNP. Sinira nila ang pangalan ko,” he said.
Loot also denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade.
“To the Cebuanos, I would like to seek for your understanding. I know you are aware that I have been a victim of black propaganda ever since and that propaganda has always been about drugs,” Loot said.
He said political opponents have been trying to pull his family down because his wife, Maria Luisa, has served as mayor of Daanbantayan town for several terms.
“I want to present the documents to the president even he instantly shoots me,” the retired general said, expressing confidence that he will be able to clear his name because he has clearances. (with reports from Francis T. Wakefield, Mars Mosqueda, Jr.) (DENNIS PRINCIPE)