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27 local execs linked to drugs yield to police

CRAME/8AUG2016 At Camp Crame in Quezon City, PNP Dir. Gen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa holds a press conference following his meeting with personalities involved in drugs  mentioned in Pres. Rodrigo Duterte's speech, who have reported to him. MB PHOTO/FEDERICO CRUZAt least 27 local executives, most of them incumbent and former town mayors, surrendered yesterday to the police in a bid to clear their names on their alleged involvement in illegal drugs activities.

And the influx of the arrival of those named by President Duterte has forced the Philippine National Police (PNP) to tap the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) in the conduct of investigation and in getting the judicial affidavits.

“Our Criminal Investigation and Detection Group will take charge of the mayors and other local executives. The IAS, on the other hand, is tasked to do that for the active policemen,” said PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.

As of press time yesterday, a total of 31 active policemen and a retired cop have showed up at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Of the 27 local officials, 18 of them are either active or incumbent mayors.

Dela Rosa said they expect more to show up in the coming days, the reason why he decided to unburden the CIDG with the task of investigating those who would surrender and tapped the IAS for the job.

Three active mayors and one former mayor have already surrendered even before Duterte publicly announced the names of those involved in the illegal drugs on Sunday.

And just like the four, the local executives are also expected to be sent home after providing the PNP with their judicial affidavits.

Dela Rosa himself admitted that they have no power to hold those who surrendered in custody especially if they have no pending case or arrest warrant.

“To tell you frankly, we cannot pin them down because drug lords could not easily be pinned down,” said Dela Rosa.

The local executives who surrendered have denied the allegations, saying they only showed up to clear their names. Some of them even questioned the basis of their inclusion on Duterte’s drug list.

But he said the affidavits that will be obtained from the local executives can be used by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the conduct of the investigation.

In a radio interview, DILG Secretary Mike Sueno said they will push for the stripping of police powers against the incumbent mayors who were named by Duterte.

He said the resolution with regard to removing the police power of the mayor may come out this week through the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM). (Aaron Recuenco)