Gamboa warns police in Duterte drug list: If you're guilty, better retire now
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa advised 357 police included in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug list to retire early if they are guilty, to prevent damaging the reputation of the police organization.
"If you think that you are guilty and that you won't be able to evade charges, you better render your optional retirement, and the deadline for that is today. So, if you don't avail of optional retirement and that you are guilty, don't say I didn't warn you," Gamboa said in a mix of English and Filipino on Monday, February 10.
Gamboa's advice comes after he disclosed that there were 357 police in the drug list of President Duterte. According to Gamboa, at least one general was in the list. He said that only one policeman has so far claimed the option to retire early.
The Duterte administration has a penchant for producing such lists, even releasing them without enough basis to file criminal complaints and defend the allegation before the courts. (READ: Duterte releases drug list ahead of 2019 elections)
Being included in the list, however, doesn't mean that the government already has substantial evidence to file cases. When they do gather enough proof, Gamboa said they will not hesitate to file them.
The PNP chief said they will not publish the list, stressing that the police are innocent until proven guilty.
But Gamboa said "if you opt for optional retirement, it doesn't mean that you're off the hook." He said they will continue to investigate even those who will choose to retire early.
"We really have to do this. Masakit sa isang ama na parusahan ang mga anak (It is painful for a father to punish his children), but we have to do this," Gamboa said. – Rappler.com