INTERNAL CLEANSING | Almost 1,000 cops under PNP watchlist; four already killed

7 months ago

QUEZON CITY, Philippines (August 10, 2018) – The Counter-Intelligence Task Force of the Philippine National Police revealed Thursday that almost 1,000 cops are on its watchlist, including four who were killed during police encounters.

The tally on erring police officers began on June 8 when Police Senior Superintendent Romeo Camarat assumed as chief of the PNP-CITF.

Among those killed was PO2 Ian Rey Abitona who fought back during a buy-bust operation in Infanta, Quezon yesterday.

The said operation came two days after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened more than 100 erring cops presented to him at the Malacañan Palace, saying he will have them killed should they continue with their criminal activities.

Camarat, however, was quick to clarify that the operation against Abitona was lengthily planned.

“Our operation this morning is a product of a month-long surveillance and validation. So nagkataon lang siguro na ngayon naisagawa iyong buy-bust operation,” Camarat told reporters in an interview yesterday.

When asked whether the President was referring to the PNP-CITF as his special unit he tasked to closely monitor police officers suspected of various crimes, Camarat said he is unaware of such group.

“I don’t about the special group na binanggit ng ating mahal na Presidente na tututok doon sa mga tiwaling pulis. But ang masasabi ko lang [ay] iyong job, iyong mandate ng CITF to go after those scalawags.”

Policemen under the CITF’s watchlist are suspected to be involved in illegal drugs, extortion and robbery-holdup. The highest among them holds a rank of a police senior superintendent. Most of these cops are also under the National Capital Region Police Office.

Caramat said he’s looking into the possibility of implementing a procedure similar to Oplan Tokhang wherein cops who are open to reformation are given a chance to start anew.

“My advise to our fellow policemen who are doing illegal activities [is] to stop immediately. Otherwise, I can say that their days are numbered.”

“It’s either na they will be arrested or if they opt to fight it out, so mamili sila,” he added.