84 of 357 cops in ‘narco-list’ from Caraga, says top cop

Among the 16 regional police offices nationwide, PRO-13 posted the highest number of policemen recalled by Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade. Courier File Photo

Of the 357 cops currently being investigated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade, eighty-four are assigned in the Caraga Police Regional Office (PRO-13), its director Brig. Gen. Joselito Esquivel Jr. revealed.

Esquivel said of the 84 officers, ten are commissioned officers, or those with the ranks of Police Major to Lieutenant Colonel, and 74 are non-commissioned officers, or those with the ranks of Patrolman or Patrolwoman to Police Executive Master Sergeant.

Esquivel did identify the policemen but assured that they will be given due process.

The region’s top cop, however, clarified that most of the involved policemen were assigned originally from Luzon and Visayas but were transferred to Caraga from 2016 to 2019 for their alleged links to the illegal drug trade.

“Most of the them came from Luzon and Visayas and sent to Caraga. Not original from our region,” Esquivel told DXBC-RMN Butuan in an interview.

All 84 policemen who are included on the watchlist of President Duterte are now in Camp Crame, Esquivel said, adding that PRO-13 posted the highest number of policemen recalled by Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa among the 16 regional police offices nationwide.

According to Esquivel, the policemen will undergo adjudication process, which started Monday morning, to give these officers a chance to prove their innocence.

The PNP was given a month for validation and adjudication, after which it will submit its recommendation for the disposition of the involved policemen. Once a policeman is cleared, his name will be stricken off the President’s watchlist.

Esquivel reiterated the investigation is a warning to all the other personnel and officers under PRO-13 not to be involved with illegal drugs or any other illegal activities. By CLC

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