Police officials linked by Duterte to drugs trade deny accusation

• Police officers named by President Duterte as protectors of drug syndicates denied the accusation
• The officers expressed willingness to face investigation in order to clear their names
• One of the officers named believes the president was supplied with wrong information

The police officials named by President Rodrigo Duterte as having links to illegal drugs trade denied the allegation.

On Tuesday, July 5, the president tagged retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr, former National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, former Quezon City Police District Office director Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio, former Western Visayas police chief Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, and Vic Loot, who is now mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu, as being protectors of drug syndicates.

The president ordered them relieved and directed the National Police Commission to conduct an investigation.

The police officials, however, denied the president’s accusation.

Former Quezon City Police District chief Edgardo Tinio, Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz and former Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot, who was elected mayor of Daanbantayan town in Cebu last May, all denied being involved in illegal drugs.

Retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr. has yet to issue a statement. Laureen Mondoñedo-Ynot of Sun Star said Garbo is currently in the United States.

Tinio, Pagdilao and Diaz, who are on active duty, were ordered to report to newly installed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald De la Rosa. The three expressed their willingness to be investigated in order to clear their names.

Mayor Loot, who served for 37 years in the PNP, also said he is willing to face investigation and would be happy to be given a chance to clear his name. He believes President Duterte was supplied with wrong information.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said he has no reason to doubt or question the validity of the information that reached the president.

Lacson revealed that he encountered the same information pertaining to 2 of the 5 officials named by President Duterte.

“At least two of them, I have been informed earlier (during the campaign period) by former subordinates in the defunct PAOCTF (the now-defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force ) who at the time were seriously involved in anti-drug operations in their Areas of Responsibility,” Lacson said.

He refused to divulge the names of the two officials; saying he has no means of validating the information.

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