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There is no other way

The Manila Times logo The Manila Times 1/13/2020 Ramon T. Tulfo

(Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.)

Año wants purging of rogue cops stepped up — headline.

There he goes again.

Eduardo Año had been saying that he wanted the Philippine National Police (PNP) cleansed of bad elements, but many of them are still in the service.

Why? Because there is lack of political will to push reforms in the PNP.

Año came from the military (he was the chief of staff when he retired) where the officers and rank and file are disciplined.

President Digong thought that since Año came from a disciplined organization he would be able to discipline the PNP.

But the President failed to reckon the ocean of difference between the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government chief needs somebody in the PNP who can work with him in instilling discipline within the police organization.

That somebody is Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, former chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and now one of the three candidates for PNP chief.

Eleazar did not brook indiscipline when he was NCRPO chief, even going to the extent of punching erring policemen out of pique.

It would be better for Año, who has the President’s ear, to back Eleazar to become PNP chief.

* * *

When Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP officer in charge, ordered a campaign against obese policemen he didn’t think of his fair-haired boy, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas.

Gamboa said he had advised Sinas to go on a yogurt diet.

If Sinas religiously follows Gamboa’s advice, it will take him two years to trim down.

And by the time he reaches his ideal weight, he may have retired.

Being deprived of food might lead to Sinas’ early demise.

Let him remain fat so he will live longer.

Meanwhile, he can start jogging in the morning and limiting his carbohydrate intake.

And while Sinas is working hard to shed off excess weight, why doesn’t Gamboa replace him with a slimmer officer in order to send the message that his order for “lean and mean” force is serious?

* * *

While this columnist disagrees with Vice President Maria Leoneo “Leni” Robredo’s assertion that the administration’s drug war is a “dismal failure,” I agree with her that the government should go after the drug lords.

“Instead of pursuing those pushers on the streets,” she said, “there is need to go after big drug lords. They are the real enemy, not the ordinary people.”

While some alleged drug kingpins — like Iloilo businessman Melvin Odicta; Albuerta, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa; and Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog — were killed by law enforcers, there are still many others who are doing brisk business.

The drug kingpins inside the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa have not been “neutralized without prejudice,” as they say in police parlance, even with the appointment of former PNP chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and former Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon as directors of the Bureau of Corrections.

* * *

The Duterte administration should go to the sources of illegal drugs — the drug lords.

No matter how many drug pushers the government will kill on the streets, there will be many others who will replace them.

In order to kill weeds, these should be pulled by the roots.

For the drug problem to be solved, the drug lords and their protectors in government should be neutralized without prejudice.

Big-time drug benefactors, be they police or government officials, should be identified and then killed along with their beneficiaries.

There is no other way.

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