PNP to run after sources of ‘wrong’ info on narco-cops

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    THE PNP yesterday said it will investigate informants and policemen responsible for the inclusion of policemen in President Duterte’s list of narco-cops who will be later cleared of involvement in illegal drugs.

    The PNP is in the process of adjudicating the cases of the policemen allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade, including Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido, a poster boy of the government’s war on drugs, who earlier said his inclusion was a product of intelligence failure.

    The list was originally composed of 357 policemen but reduced to 356 with the death of S/Sgt. Ronaldo Barrameda who was shot by an unidentified man in Biñan City on February 5.

    “We assure that we are not going to stop if our fellow personnel will be cleared (from illegal drugs)… What will follow is we are going to run after those who spread wrong information,” said PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.

    Banac said reports against the narco cops came from various sources. The information was subsequently processed by intelligence and other police units before their inclusion in the list.

    “Definitely they are going to undergo review and face investigation where they got the information, the basis of their information that such and such people are involved in illegal drugs,” said Banac of the informants and policemen who processed the information.

    “It’s important for us to determine the source of those information. If we establish that policemen were not really involved in illegal drugs, we have to determine the circumstances of the information and who spread it,” he added.

    Banac said the PNP is not discounting the possibility that some PNP personnel could be behind the inclusion of the narco cops in the list due to personal grudge.

    On the charges that may be filed against the policemen found involved in the wrongful inclusion of policemen in the narco list, Banac cited grave misconduct which he said is punishable by dismissal from service.

    As to the informants who reported false information, Banac said: “They can be held liable if they have ill motive or intent.”

    Banac said the some of the regional adjudication boards have completed the process on the policemen who are assigned in their respective areas.

    “There are areas where its (regional adjudication) is still ongoing, some have already submitted (the result),” Banac said but did not elaborate.

    The submission of the findings of the regional adjudication boards has prompted the start of a similar process at the national level last week.

    “The national (adjudication board) started the process last week because some regional offices have already submitted their findings… We already started the process at the national adjudication board so we can beat the deadline which is before March 5,” said Banac.

    PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa earlier said he is due to submit to President Duterte the result of the adjudication process during a command conference on March 5. The President has the final say on the exclusion of cops in the narco list.