The recent call of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos for Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with rank of colonel and general to tender their courtesy resignations as a means to discover those involved in the illegal drugs trade speaks loudly of how the drug menace has blossomed right under the noses and within the very organization itself of those supposedly tasked with preventing its proliferation in the country.

There are many who might think that the shotgun approach of the DILG Secretary in asking all those top officers of the PNP to submit their courtesy resignations is way too radical and heavy handed when the intention is only to weed out a few or some scalawags from the service who have gone astray. However Secretary Abalos has come out with a revelation that it was in fact PNP Chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., who recommended for the action to have his top officers submit their courtesy resignations which of course will necessarily include him.

But for the very top PNP official to recommend such a move, a radical one at that, will already tell us that the perception that only a few policemen are involved or are in cahoots with the illegal drug
syndicates is obviously wrong. Perhaps what PNP Chief Azurin realized when he took office after being appointed by President Bongbong Marcos is that the rot of illegal drugs or its infestation goes very deep into the police organization and that probably some of his subordinates that are on top
with him are not merely turning a blind eye to illegal drug transactions but have already become active protectors, if not distributors themselves, of illegal drugs.

In Mexico where the drug war rages on its Congress has approved a constitutional reform that allows their armed forces to exercise and perform domestic law enforcement duties until 2028. The President of that country Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador supported the move to rely on the military for law enforcement duties perceiving that the military are somehow more honest than their police. Previous reports have it that entire police stations or commands have been bought by the drug cartels to afford the latter the impunity and immunity to operate their despicable drug business.

Authorizing soldiers to do the work of policemen are some of the desperation moves initiated by the Mexican government if only to stave off and mitigate the influence of drug cartels and prevent them
from taking over the entire country. That is how dire the situation is right now in Mexico. Of course we don’t want that to happen in our country. These illegal drug syndicates cannot operate in a vacuum.

They cannot simply enjoy the freedom of movement to bring into the country (or manufacture them here) illegal drugs and sell them to the community without some sort of immunity or protection from those directed to cause their arrest or incarceration. For those who have binged watch narco flicks in Netflix you might know that before a drug syndicate can expand its operation it must have not only the resources and manpower to move, ship and sell their illegal product but they must also have in their pockets certain government officials and functionaries, especially those
working in enforcement, to guarantee that their operation is not disturbed.

So corrupting certain officials or people in government by means of intimidation, threats, or bribes
is a standard operating procedure wielded by these drug syndicates and if all else fails then sometimes termination with extreme prejudice is applied. That Colombian Spanish slang phrase “plata o plomo” or translated into “silver or lead” comes to mind and is intimately connected with the way drug syndicates and drug cartels operate in the world.

On the issue of calling for the submission of a courtesy resignation perhaps DILG Secretary Abalos can also reinforce the measure by requesting for the conduct of a mandatory lifestyle check on all those who tendered their resignations. That would also help the committee of five that he created in their job to determine those who are bad eggs and rotten tomatoes in the PNP organization who have willingly or unwillingly sold their integrity and oath to those in the illegal drugs business.

Amianan Balita Ngayon