PNP says 125 cops punished for drug war-related offenses

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has punished 125 cops for offenses related to drug war operations.

PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) chief Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo made the statement on Tuesday, November 28, before the Supreme Court during oral arguments on the PNP's war on drugs. He debunked criticism that the police leadership had not done anything to punish erring cops in the government's anti-drug campaign.

Triambulo said they have already punished 125 cops from July 2016 to November 2017.

Triambulo gave the following breakdown: 72 dismissed, 20 demoted, 31 suspended, and two had salaries forfeited. Triambulo refrained from going into detail on why the 125 were punished, but said that they were all in the context of the drug war.

The PNP IAS handles independent administrative investigations of the PNP, looking for irregularities in police operations, then recommending sanctions.

These sanctions vary from salary forfeiture, temporary suspension, to dismissal. (READ: Police watchdog: Know enough about Internal Affairs Service?)

Mandated to handle administrative cases only, the PNP IAS cannot file criminal charges that can put cops behind bars.

Nonetheless, its probe can support criminal investigations conducted by other agencies such as the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, or other agencies such as the National Bureau of Investigation. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.