Garbo on drug links: Duterte fed 'wrong, poison info'

MANILA, Philippines - A retired police general accused of protecting illegal drug operations in the country by no less than the newly-installed President on Tuesday, July 5, denied any wrongdoing. 

"This is a sad day for those who believe in righteousness, integrity, and honesty," retired Police Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr told Rappler Tuesday evening.

Garbo is the most senior among 5 generals whom President Rodrigo Duterte has accused of involvement in illegal drugs. 

Three others identified by the President had denied the allegations separately: former Quezon City Police District chief Edgardo Tinio, former National Capital Region Police Office chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, and former PNP director for training service Vicente Loot.

"I believe the President was fed by people close to him with wrong and poison information," added Garbo, who retired in March 2016 as the Deputy Chief of Administration or second-in-command of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Duterte named Garbo, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) 1981, alongside 4 other generals in a speech delivered during the Air Force's anniversary. 

"I'm willing to meet the president one-on-one regarding his accusations," added Garbo. 

The retired general is associated with defeated Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II. Garbo openly campaigned for the then-ruling party. 

He was also considered for the post of PNP chief, but it was eventually given to Director General Ricardo Marquez, who retired ahead of schedule to make way for Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, the current chief of the police force. 

Dela Rosa said the PNP would investigate the 3 of the 5 generals named who are still on active duty.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, told Rappler he had no reason to doubt the information that reached Duterte

Lacson disclosed that he already encountered the same information about 2 of the 5 generals during the 2016 elections campaign period. It was some of his men from the now-defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) who provided the information, he said.