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PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa / PNA

PNP begins validation of drug list involving erring cops

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) began the validation of information on the 357 police officers allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

"Tomorrow (Thursday), magsisimula na ang regional adjudication [the regional adjudication will start]," PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa was quoted as saying.

Currently, 299 policemen would be adjudicated or validated first at the regional level.

Meanwhile, 15 opted to retire early while 43 went absent without official leave (AWOL).

"Pero once na mag-umpisa na yung proseso, then we will not offer optional retirement [But once the adjudication process starts, then we will not offer optional retirement]," Gamboa added.

Gamboa said the AWOL cops would be pre-charged.

Once completed, the findings of the PNP's validation will be submitted to President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Gamboa earlier said those who chose to retire early are not yet off the hook. He has also given a one-month ultimatum for the PNP to finish the validation process.

He, meanwhile, encouraged policemen to not let drug suspects fire at them first during operations.

"Ang instruction ko, wag kayo pauna. Pag binunutan kayo ng baril, unahan n’yo [My instruction to them is don't let them fire at you first. While they are just about to pull their gun, fire at them immediately]," he told reporters when sought for a comment.

Gamboa's remark came after Senior M/Sgt. Maximo Macua Jr. was killed in a drug operation in Cebu City on Tuesday, making him the 57th casualty on the side of the PNP in the anti-drug campaign.

Despite casualties on the part of the PNP, Gamboa assured that the anti-illegal drug campaign of the police remains evidence-based and compliant with laws.

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