One day after delivering his second State of the Nation Address on July 24, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he had accepted the resignations of 18 police officers allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade. This is confusing.
Three days later, Col. Jean Fajardo, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said 13 of the officers remained in their posts while five were on floating status and reassigned to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit while waiting for their relief orders.
On July 31, five days after saying he was seeking clarification from Malacañang if the officers were relieved from their positions or dismissed from the service, PNP Chief Benjamin Acorda Jr. said the officers were “deemed resigned.”
In a July 25 press release, the Presidential Communications Office announced:
“President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced on Tuesday that he has accepted the resignation of eighteen (18) Third-Level Officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) allegedly involved in illegal drugs activities, upon the recommendation of the National Police Commission Ad Hoc Advisory Group that investigated the matter.”
Source: Presidential Communications Office, PBBM accepts resignation of 18 cops allegedly involved in illegal drugs (archived), July 25, 2023
A day prior, Marcos said in his address before a joint session of Congress:
“Unscrupulous law enforcers and others involved in the highly nefarious drug trade have been exposed. I will be accepting their resignations. In their stead, we will install individuals with unquestionable integrity, who will be effective and trustworthy in handling the task of eliminating this dreaded and corrosive social curse.”
Marcos vowed to continue the crackdown against drug syndicates, saying that his administration’s anti-narcotics campaign “has taken a new face” that focuses on providing treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration to the society of drug users.
Almost three weeks after the acceptance of the resignations of the 18 high-ranking officers was announced, the PNP has yet to issue a categorical statement clarifying whether they were merely removed from their positions or dismissed from the police service.
It also remains unclear when the resignations would take effect.
On July 31, Acorda told reporters that the PNP would implement the acceptance of the resignations after it received the documents signed by the president, saying the 18 officials were already “deemed resigned” as part of the police organization’s “internal cleansing.”
However, Acorda said the three police generals and 15 colonels involved still have the option to appeal Marcos’ order. Some of the resigned officers would still receive their benefits, the police chief added.
VERA Files Fact Check has been reaching out to the PNP through its Public Information Office by email, SMS and phone calls, but has yet to receive a response on the status of the 18 officers, specifically if they had been dismissed from police service or merely relieved from their positions.
The PNP did not immediately enforce Marcos’ order. On July 27, Fajardo said they still have to clarify whether the officers would be considered optionally retired for purposes of receiving their retirement benefits.
Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said last January that the acceptance of the courtesy resignations of full colonels and generals in PNP who were found to have connections to illegal drug activities “would mean early retirement” and “cases will be pursued if there is enough evidence against them.”
After Abalos appealed to high-ranking PNP officials to submit their courtesy resignations last January, 953 heeded his call as part of the police organization’s internal cleansing following the controversies surrounding the seizure of 990 kilograms of shabu in a raid in Manila in October 2022.
A five-man advisory group created to check the records of the implicated police officers recommended to the president to accept the resignations of 18 of those investigated.
The five-man panel was composed of Azurin, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr., retired general and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Undersecretary Isagani Nerez of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs and retired Court of Appeals associate justice Melchor Sadang.
Among the dismissed PNP brigadier generals, Remus Medina and Randy Peralta were previously accused as backers or related to MSgt. Rodolfo Mayo Jr., the owner of the WPD Lending Office in Manila where the 990 kilograms of shabu were seized.
Seven of the 18 officers had served either in the Cebu Police Provincial Office or the PNP Regional Office 7. They are brigadier generals (Medina, Peralta and Pablo Labra II) and four colonels Rex Derilo, Rodolfo Albotra, Marvin Sanchez and Rommel Ochave).
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Presidential Communications Office official website, PBBM accepts resignation of 18 cops allegedly involved in illegal drugs, July 25, 2023
Presidential Communications Office official website, 2nd State of the Nation Address of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (transcript) July 24, 2023
Philippine News Agency, 13 of 18 ‘resigned’ generals, colonels remain in posts – PNP, July 27, 2023
Inquirer.net, PNP: 13 cops still holding positions even after President accepts resignation, July 27, 2023
CNN Philippines, PNP: 13 of 18 cops keep post despite Marcos’ acceptance of resignations, July 31, 2023
Benjamin Acorda official Facebook page, Press briefing, July 26, 2023
Philippine News Agency, PNP implements order on resignation of 18 ranking cops, July 31, 2023
Inquirer.net, 18 police officials linked to drugs are deemed resigned – PNP, Aug. 1, 2023
CNN Philippines, Acorda says 18 high-ranking cops are ‘deemed resigned’, July 31, 2023
SunStar, PNP implements resignation of 18 police officials, July 31, 2023
Inquirer.net, 15 sa 18 “resigned” police officials naka-puwesto pa rin – PNP., July 28, 2023
Remate, PNP: Courtesy resignation ng 15 pulis oks na kay PBBM pero nasa pwesto pa rin, July 28, 2023
Department of Interior and Local Government official website, Abalos: More than 60% of PNP high-ranking officials file courtesy resignation, Jan. 10, 2023
Department of Interior and Local Government official website, PNP courtesy resignation: Pagpapamalas ng karangalan, Jan. 5, 2023
ABS-CBN News, PNP: Advisory group to release report on courtesy resignations, April 21, 2023
Philstar.com, Fate of 953 ‘resigned’ cops known today, May 8, 2023
Manila Bulletin, PNP: Evaluation of 953 resigned senior officers completed; to be shown to PBBM, April 21, 2023
Department of Interior and Local Government official Facebook page, Abalos: Criminal cases filed vs 50 PNP officials over P6.7B shabu haul, June 14, 2023
Philippine News Agency, 5-man PNP advisory group to convene twice a week to vet top cops, Feb. 27, 2023
Journal News Online, Mystery goes deeper in P6.7B shabu haul in Tondo, July 31, 2023
Pilipino Star Ngayon, 2 PNP generals, minalas sa 990 kilos ng shabu!, Oct. 23 , 2022
National Capital Region Office Public Information Office official Facebook page, PBGEN Medina Formally Takes Over as QCPD Chief, Feb. 5, 2022
Cebu Police Provincial Office official Facebook page, PCOL RANDY Q PERALTA, Asst. Chief, FEO and PLTCOL RANDY A KORRET, Asst. Chief, EMD conducted cascading on the guidelines, Feb. 25, 2021
The Freeman, Ochave, Labra, Derilo, Albotra, Sanchez: President Marcos accepts resignations, July 25, 2023
SunStar, Bzzzzz: Sulu province police chief, Paul Labra, served Cebu for years, Jan. 30, 2019
RPNRadio, Surigao: Brig. Gen. LABRA II assumes post as PNP Caraga’s top cop (archive), Nov. 5, 2022
Cebu Daily News, TOM’S ‘TRUSTED AIDE’ TOOK DRUG MONEY, Aug. 13, 2016
SunStar, 2 former PNP Cebu officials named as drug protectors, Sept. 26, 2016
SunStar, PRO 7 officials Derilo, Ylanan, Albotra, Siclot, Sanchez moved outside region, July 22, 2016
Cebu Police Provincial Office official Facebook page, In Cebu Province, PCOL ROMMEL J OCHAVE, Provincial Director…, July 25, 2023
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