By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

PHOTO: Daily Tribune

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Monday pressed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to dismiss from service police officers who skipped drug test to weed out from the organization those who are involved in illegal drugs as part of its internal cleansing program.

Dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, issued the call during a joint public hearing conducted by the Committee on Justice and Human Rights with the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs looking on the spate of unlawful killings nationwide.

Dela Rosa, who is a former PNP chief himself,  urged the current PNP Chief Debold Sinas, to continue the anti-illegal drugs program that he [Dela Rosa] implemented during his term.

"[General] Debold, I would like to advise you. Para maramdaman talaga ng taumbayan na we are very serious in our anti-drug campaign, talagang diinan mo yung mga pulis na lumalayas sa drug test," Dela Rosa told Sinas.

"Kasi positive talaga yan, siguradong user yan 'pag umiiwas. Kaya dapat talaga dismissed kaagad 'yung mga ganung klaseng offenses. Didiinan ninyo please, para naman malinis yung ating internal cleansing program sa PNP," Dela Rosa explained.

He also asked the PNP chief to further investigate and find out who were the officials involved in the dropping of the administrative cases against dismissed Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, the police officer who killed a mother and her son in Paniqui, Tarlac in December last year.

Of all Nuezca’s administrative cases, Dela Rosa said he is particularly interested to know who marked Nuezca’s case as “less grave” after he evaded a mandatory drug testing and leaving the testing area without permission or clearance in 2014.

Sinas, however, clarified that the prevailing disciplinary policy at the time Nuezca’s case was being decided was based on a resolution on passed by the National Police Commission (Napolcom), which was eventually changed when Dela Rosa served as Chief PNP starting in mid-2016.

Sinas acknowledged it was only during Dela Rosa’s term as PNP chief when the penalty imposed for cops refusing drug testing became stringent and heavier.

"Binago niyo po Sir, nung kayo na ang Chief PNP nung 2016...Binigatan po natin Sir yung penalty nung 2016. Ginawa nating grave misconduct, Sir," Sinas explained.

Dela Rosa stressed Sinas to take the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs seriously by taking the initiative to rid the PNP ranks of police officials involved in the illegal drug trade by looking into the case of cops who have records of evading drug testing.

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