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More cops test positive for drug use

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) December 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The number of police officers who tested positive for illegal drugs increased by 42.85 percent this year.

Fifty police officers were found to have used illegal drugs this year compared to 35 in 2019, Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP–IAS) records show.

A total of 461 police officers and 10 non-uniformed personnel have been found hooked on illegal drugs since July 2016.

The IAS has resolved 459 of the cases. Five died while in service while 12 are either pending or forwarded to the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management.

IAS inspector general Alfegar Triambulo expressed concern over the increase in the number of drug users in the police force.

“Tumaas imbes na bumaba kaya very alarming,” Triambulo said in a phone interview.

PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas has intensified random drug testing to weed out drug users among their ranks.

Police officers caught using drugs face dismissal from the service.

Sinas said they are studying whether to return the authority to resolve these cases to police chiefs and regional directors to fasttrack investigations and punishment.

Triambulo said they welcome Sinas’ proposal as it would allow them to focus on other administrative cases, including those filed by civilians against erring police officers.

“Cases involving internal discipline like illegal drugs and AWOL (absent without leave) will be the responsibility of the commanders,” he said.

Triambulo said there is no backlog in cases involving police officers using illegal drugs.

He said they have only two pending cases, one of which could be resolved by January next year.

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