Duterte gives sacked Bacolod City cops 'a dressing down' – Palace

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President Rodrigo Duterte.

President Rodrigo Duterte. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 16) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday reprimanded the Bacolod City police officials whom he ordered relieved for their alleged involvement in illegal drug trade, the Malacanang said Wednesday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo said Duterte "castigated" and gave the dismissed policemen, led by Bacolod City Chief of Police Senior Superintendent Francis Ebreo, a "dressing down" for allegedly "allowing the proliferation of illegal drugs to persist in Bacolod" during a meeting in Malacañang.

Duterte on Saturday ordered the dismissal of Ebreo and four other police officers--namely Police Superintendent Nasruddin Tayuan, P/Supt. Richie Yatar, Senior Inspector Victor Paulino and P/SSupt. Allan Macapagal--claiming they are working with drug syndicates.

The President, Panelo added, rebuked the cops for their lack of knowledge about the presence of drug personalities in the city.

Duterte also told the policemen that they are relieved from their posts while an investigation is ongoing.

"This swift action of the President is a timely warning to other PNP officers that the President will not tolerate incompetence and inefficiency in the police force, especially with respect to the Administration's crusade versus illegal drugs," Panelo said.

The spokesperson reiterated that Duterte will only support policemen resorting to force during anti-illegal drugs operations "only when the same is inevitable as when, in the performance of their duties, a suspect sought to be arrested performs aggressive and violent resistance amounting to an actual or imminent threat to their lives and limbs."

'Drug lord protector'

In an interview on the sideline of an event in Malacanang Wednesday, Duterte said Ebreo is "at the very least" a protector of drug lords.

The President said Obreo and his deputy visited a certain "Councilor Cano," an alleged narcopolitician, in the hospital when he was ambushed.

"What's the f****** business of going to a hospital of an ambushed drug lord tapos nag-iwan pa sila ng dalawang security. I could understand if you would send a topnotch investigator of the police, I would understand that pero kung sila mismo, the first and the second highest of police officials nagtataka ako kung bakit ganon. It's a strange behavior," Duterte said.

The President did not disclose the full identity of the politician, but a councilor in Bacolod named Richard Tan has a surname "Cano."

In a news conference in December, Ebreo said he and his investigator visited Tan at the hospital to get the official's statement on the ambush. Ebreo also assigned a security for Tan in the hospital.