Looking for a replacement for former Philippine National Police (PNP) General Oscar Albayalde seemed a tall task for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. For one, Duterte is entering his fourth year as President, and since today, the anti-drugs campaign which was the center-piece and his personal choice of a legacy, remains in tatters. The recent controversy involving Albayalde really hit the police organization hard, not because of its sheer magnitude but the realization that the Ninja phenomenon has been going on right under the noses of Duterte and his generals who publicly acted as if they dead serious on eradicating this scourge from the face of the earth.
Duterte may be doubting the integrity and veracity of intelligence reports reaching him that explains why he is finding it hard to anoint the worthy one for the post.
The president surely knows the consequence if he chooses the wrong one.
The police organization ill affords to get hit once more with a serious controversy. Polls show a very low public regard on the organization. It now suffers from credibility problems. When these doubts pervade, these affect operations. Who would now provide credible intelligence information to the police when the perception is every single precinct has been contaminated with alleged Ninja cops?
Who to trust? This same feeling is the one articulated by Duterte in his interview yesterday. Seems like the president has some serious trust issues, and quite frankly, it is understandable.
It also shows how committed and how serious the President is in solving not just the drug problem but the peace and order situation as well.
Time runs against Mr. Duterte who only has at least two years to really make good his promise on eradicating the drug problem. With the enormity of this problem, the drug issue seemed too heavy and too complicated for Mr. Duterte’s appreciation.
One piece of advice for our President— change your approach. Make it scientific. Fund research which will take a serious look at the issue and from these results, create an operational or tactical plan.
The drug menace is actually more of an economic, social and political issue. Admittedly, it has economic players– suppliers, dealers and customers. It is subject to the laws of supply and demand. Without supplies, no to deal for pushers and nothing to buy from customers. What makes this unique is the addiction part which is a medical matter.
It is social because most people indulge in it due to the drudgery of their lives. Improve the social environment and you mitigate the number of drug victims.
Lastly, it is political, in the sense that those who supply and distribute these illegal drugs, have already syndicated the system. Using their billions, they have permeated the fibrous social membrane and influenced some or even most of officials not just of the security forces, but also the political system. There must be a conscious effort from the DILG to purge the local government ranks of these narco politicians and erase them from the face of the earth.
The next PNP chief should rather be an inspirational leader rather than just mere action man. The organization needs a morale booster. It needs a shot in the arm.
The next PNP chief should likewise be a stickler of the law. A no-nonsense guy who will lead the organization in efforts at being followers not just enforcers of the law.