Philstar file photo of Sen. Francis Pangilinan
MANILA, Philippines — Warning that promotion instead of charges would lead to more abuses by law enforcers, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan last Sunday criticized the Duterte administration’s move to appoint Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro — the former head of a police unit being linked to the abduction and slay of a South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo — as new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Drug Enforcement Group (DEG).
“Lalo lang lalakas ang loob ng pulis na gumawa ng hindi tama at abusuhin ang pwesto dahil promotion sa halip na parusa ang naghihintay sa kanila [This would all the more embolden the police to commit wrongdoings and abuse their positions because promotion, instead of punishment, await them,] Pangilinan, Liberal Party president, said in a statement.
The PNP announced Ferro’s appointment last Saturday, three days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced the drug war’s return to the police.
Ferro is the former head of the PNP’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Group that was dissolved last year after police officers under the ADG were accused of allegedly having a hand in the October 2016 kidnapping of Korean Hanjin executive Jee Ick Joo under the guise of a drug operation.
Jee was later killed inside the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City. His remains were cremated with his ashes reportedly flushed down the toilet.
“Si Ferro lang ba ang tauhan ng PNP na may kakayahang mamuno sa DEG at siya ang pinili? Mas marami naman siguro diyan na walang bahid ang pangalan at mas karapat-dapat na mamuno sa nasabing unit,” said Pangilinan.
[Is Ferro the only PNP law enforcer who has the capability to lead the DEG and that’s why he was the one chosen? Maybe there are still many others whose names remain untarnished and are more qualified to lead the said unit.]
He said the PNP “should be more circumspect in assigning their personnel, especially in sensitive and controversial posts like the DEG, as it could further place the government’s campaign against illegal drugs in a negative light.”
“How can the people trust the PNP’s campaign against illegal drugs if those people spearheading it are involved in controversy, like the Jee Ick Joo case, which remains unsolved until now and the victim’s family is still crying for justice?” Pangilinan asked.
“If the PNP wants to regain the people’s trust, then it should appoint officials with unblemished reputations in its war against drugs,” he added.