MANILA, Philippines — Criminal charges may be filed against the two recently dismissed police generals that President Rodrigo Duterte himself claimed to be involved in the illegal drugs trade, the spokesman for the Philippine National Police said Tuesday.
In an order signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last Thursday, Duterte sacked Director Joel Pagdilao and Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio, two of the police officials he earlier accused of protecting drug syndicates.
According to Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesperson, the two may yet face criminal raps if sufficient evidence of their alleged “participation” in the proliferation of narco-trafficking in their respective areas emerges.
“We will look into that because when there is enough — verified information and evidence, criminal charges may be filed against the two dismissed police officers,” Carlos told DZMM radio in Filipino.
He said the police will still work to find "enough evidence that will warrant charges before the criminal court.”
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the two are administratively liable for serious neglect of duty and serious irregularity in the performance of duty.
“Evidence shows that both generals deliberately refused, without cause, to perform their duties as police officers resulting in the proliferation of the drug trade in their areas of jurisdiction. Thus, the president’s decision,” Abella said. Although the PNP is a civilian organization, the use of equivalent military ranks is common.
Director General Ronaldo dela Rosa, PNP chief, said the dismissal went through due process, citing an investigation done by the National Police Commission.
Pagdilao is a Philippine Military Academy Class ’84 graduate and former chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, while Tinio is a member of PMA Class ’85 and former chief of the Quezon City Police District.
Both stand to lose their benefits from the years they served on the police force.
Aside from Pagdilao and Tinio, the president also tagged retired police Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., former police official and Daanbantayan town mayor Vicente Loot and Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, Western Visayas regional director.
All five denied having ties with drug lords and believe that Duterte was given wrong information.