PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has tendered his courtesy resignation from the service following the call of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. for police colonels and generals to submit their courtesy resignation and let themselves be investigated over possible drug links.

In a press conference on Thursday, January 5, 2023, Azurin said PNP deputy chief for administration Lieutenant General Rhodel Sermonia, PNP deputy chief for operation Lieutenant General Benjamin Santos Jr. and Chief of the Directorial Staff (TCDS) Major General Michael John Dubria, among others, have also filed their courtesy resignation.

Azurin said he strongly supports the intention of Abalos to cleanse the ranks of the PNP from misfits, especially as they are among the agencies leading the country’s fight against illegal drugs.

“This call of SILG (secretary of the interior and local government) is a test of individual character. And as an answer, I am taking the lead to submit myself to such evaluation, assessment and scrutiny by the committee. We, in the uniformed service, are trained and prepared and are expected to prioritize public service over personal interests. Similarly, I support and uphold the guidance of our beloved President Ferdinand R. Marcos to every policeman to keep our integrity untainted and to do our best to uphold the moral ascendancy of the PNP and to ensure the continuity of public rapport,” he said.

“Pati si DG IAS (Director General of the PNP Internal Affairs Service Alfegar Triambulo) will be submitting also. Ibig sabihin, doon mo mararamdaman na ‘yung mga senior officers, yung mga generals they are willing to be subjected to assessment kasi paulit-ulit nalang na akusasyon sa hanay naming and this has to stop once and for all,” Azurin added.

(Director General of the PNP Internal Affairs Service Alfegar Triambulo will also be submitting. That means, you will feel that the senior officers, the generals are willing to be subjected to assessment because there are repeated accusations in our ranks and this has to stop once and for all.)

Azurin said he also already got the commitment of other ranking PNP officials to heed to the interior secretary’s appeal, explaining to them that what is on trial is the organization that has been repeatedly tainted by allegations and not only them as a person or as a police official.

On Wednesday, Abalos appealed to all full-fledged police colonels and generals to submit their courtesy resignation, noting there is an “infection” within the organization especially over the involvement of some in the illegal drugs trade.

RELATED: DILG chief urges police colonels, generals to submit courtesy resignation

Azurin said a five-man committee will evaluate these police officials over their possible involvement on illegal drugs, which will primarily be the basis of their recommendation to the President whether to or not to accept their resignation.

He said that while some, especially among their ranks, may think that Abalos’ “radical move” was demoralizing and unfair especially to those who are clean, it is also an avenue to prove themselves, that their organization can be trusted and that they do not tolerate erring cops.

Azurin said that out of the 956 colonels and generals in the PNP, “less than 10” were “on the list” over their alleged involvement in illegal drugs operations. He refused to name them.

He said he has already communicated with them and challenged them to submit themselves to investigation.

Azurin said colonels and generals have until January 31 to file their courtesy resignation.

If these less than 10 police officials will not submit their courtesy resignation, Azurin said “we will cross the bridge when we get there.”

The top cop said the PNP is ready to release the names of vindicated police officials. (SunStar Philippines)