Saturday, January 15, 2011

Report: Cops in Negros PDEA watchlist for suspected drug use

Barely has the Philippine National Police (PNP) recovered from the black eye of having some of its own men involved in crimes, when another scandal looms, this time over drug use.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Negros Occidental has placed under surveillance some Negros Occidental police personnel on suspicion they are using drugs.

PDEA provincial chief Intelligence Officer 3 Cerilo Baluma said the policemen, whose names he did not disclose, have the ranks of Police Officers 1, 2 and 3 and are assigned at the Bacolod City Police Office and at the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, news site Visayan Daily Star reported on Monday.

He said the arrest of Police Officer 1 Mark Pestolante last Wednesday confirmed the information from concerned citizens regarding drug use by some policemen.

On the other hand, the PDEA is also monitoring some jail guards at the provincial jail.

Baluma also welcomed the creation of the BCPO Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force that will seal off the areas of barangays 1, 2 and 22.

He said these villages have been considered to be "seriously affected" by illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, Pestolante was released Friday after he posted P40,000 bail.

Last week, Pestolante had been apprehended with several others in a drug raid. They were charged for illegal drug use, after they were found positive for illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, erring and non-performing policemen will undergo back-to-basic refresher courses in Negros Occidental.

PNP Training Service regional manager Superintendent William Senoron said no one will be spared in PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo's retraining program.

There are about 2,500 policemen stationed in Negros Occidental, including those assigned in Bacolod City and the 6th Regional Public Safety Management Battalion.

Some 52 policemen assigned to the Bacolod City Police Office are completing week-long retraining on June 11. Another 74 policemen in Silay City, Negros Occidental, will undergo similar training Jan. 17.

Senoron said the troopers assigned to the Negros Occidental Public Safety Management Company will temporarily take over the functions of the Silay police force, as agreed upon between him and provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Allan Guisihan. — TJD, GMANews.TV

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