Duterte: Mayors involved in illegal drugs can’t choose police chief

DAVAO CITY — Local chief executives with links to the illegal drugs business cannot pick their chief of police, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said.

Duterte said he would ask for the amendment of the law giving mayors the operational supervision and control of the police.

“I will not assign to you a chief of police of your choice. I would even amend that law…sila sila mismo naglalaro diyan (they are the ones playing there),” Duterte said.

Republic Act 8551, an act establishing the Philippines National Police under a re-organized Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) gives the mayors the power to direct employment and deployment of units or elements of the PNP through the station commander.

The same law also gives local chief executives the authority to choose the chief of police from a list of five eligible recommended by the provincial police director, preferably from the same province, city or municipality.

Without mentioning names, Duterte revealed there are around 30 to 35 mayors who are players in the illegal drugs trade.

Duterte said he would assign police officers that would look into the drug activities of local chief executives.

“We will not be able to improve this country…let us put a stop to this play,” he told police during the turnover of command at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) on Friday afternoon, as he ordered police to apprehend drug pushers, dead or alive.

“If you encounter criminals – ask them to surrender. If he chooses to fight – and if you feel you will die unahan niyo na patayin mo (get them first kill them),” he said.

But he said it would be a different story if police kill criminals with hands tied. He told them not to kill criminals with hands tied otherwise “hindi lang ako ang kalaban niyo pati human rights… I will not be the only one against you but also the human rights…).”

He also vowed to stand for them “just don’t lie to me”. “You remain loyal to the Constitution and the Republic,” he said.

Duterte vowed to arrest high profile and valued drug pushers in the country. “In this fight I put at stake my life, honor and my presidency. One of us will be sorry – it will be you,” he said referring to politicians into illegal drugs.

He asked the police to stick to the rules in the fight against criminality and illegal drugs, which are the centerpiece of his administration.

He pointed out that Philippines is not financially “rich” that is why he wants to restore law and order to attract investors and spur the economy.

He also vowed to also put some funds from which he can draw to help police for their medical and other needs through their city directors. Duterte also promised to double their salaries by the end of the year.

“Do not nurture loyalty to me. I don’t need it. I don’t need adulation. All I ask of you is to do your duty according to the law. According to the Revise Penal Code …if your life is in danger,” he said. Lilian Mellejor/PNA/northboundasia.com