• Duterte says mayors involved in drug trade should not choose their police chiefs
  • He also mulls on the idea of amending the law that authorizes mayors to appoint their local police chiefs
  • There are 30 to 35 local chief executives who are involved in illegal drugs, he says

In his conquest to finally put a stop to the illegal drug trade, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said the mayors who are involved in drugs should not be the ones appointing their police chief.

“I will not assign to you a chief of police of your choice. I would even amend that law…sila sila mismo naglalaro diyan [they are the ones playing there],” Duterte was quoted in an article posted by InterAksyon on June 28.

The incoming president is referring to Republic Act 8551, which vested the power over local executives to choose who will be the members of their police force. It also allows the mayor to choose the police chief from the list endorsed by the provincial police director, the story said.

Enacted in 1998, the law re-organized the Philippine National Police as a unit within the Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG). DILG oversees local governance, a primary task of town and city mayors.

There are about 30 to 35 mayors involved in the drug trade, Duterte said.

“We will not be able to improve this country…let us put a stop to this play,” he said.

Last week Maguindanao governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu furnished a list of local executives in his province who are involved in drug activities.

Duterte, whose primary campaign promise is to curb crime and corruption, has raged war against drugs. He has reiterated in many of his speeches since he won the presidency how there are several police officers who are part of illegal drug trafficking.

In his earlier speeches, Duterte said that he will run after these erring authorities.

“‘Pag nandiyan ka pa sa droga, ipapapatay kita. Don’t take this as a joke. Hindi ako nagpapatawa,” he said during his thanksgiving speech last June 4.

(If you are still involved in drugs, I will have you assassinated. Don’t take this as a joke. I am not trying to be funny.)

He also warned high-ranking police officials to retire early from the service when he assumes the presidency if they are involved in illegal drugs.