Narcopols, rebs down amid anti-crime push

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From 1 January to 10 October this year, the number of surrenderers at the Eastern Mindanao Command alone is placed at 8,665

The numbers of both narcopoliticians and communist rebels had dwindled based on data the government released yesterday.

From 93 former and current officials tagged in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of protectors and operators in the drugs trade or the so-called narcolist, only 85 remains, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino said.

Some 6,400 individuals were included in Mr. Duterte’s drugs list.

In a separate report, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that mass surrenders had slashed the number of armed communist rebels.

From 1 January to 10 October this year, the number of surrenderers at the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) alone is placed at 8,665.

AFP chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. commended the EastMinCom and local government units for New People’s Army (NPA) members and supporters surrendering in their areas.

“I commend our troops for being able to handle an overwhelming number of surrenderers (as rebels) continue to come down and go back to the folds of the law,” Galvez said in a statement.

Aquino said the 6,000 individuals in the narcolist covers nearly all positions in government.

Commanders were held responsible for disciplining their personnel.

Wide epidemic
“It covers all, including uniformed service, elected officials, civilians, even media, celebrities, judges,” Aquino said on radio.

“Even in the PDEA, the Philippine National Police (PNP), they are all there on the list,” he added.

Aquino met with Mr. Duterte last week to ask for help on how to adjudicate individuals who are on the narcolist.

“I went to the President, I told him ‘Sir, it’s a nightmare. I don’t know what will I do with this thick list.’ I proposed all of them should be adjudicated,” he said.

He added that he talked with PNP and military officials to start the adjudication process.

Aquino said the process would start next week and would first focus on the 85 politicians.

Discipline paramount
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde also reminded policemen to stay disciplined as they pursue their goal of fighting crime and illegal drugs.

“With firm discipline in our ranks, we will be able to fight the illegal drugs problem more efficiently and effectively,” he said.

Albayalde noted that some uniformed men were reported to have been involved in the illegal drugs trade.

“And what is truly unfortunate is that our problem not only includes the lower ranks, but also the officers, especially in the middle level, who directly supervise the personnel on the ground,” he said.

The PNP chief said commanders are responsible for disciplining their ranks.

I expect these commanders to lead by example.

“Again, I want to send the message to all commanders that I hold them responsible for disciplining their personnel, instituting a culture of self-respect and respect for others and upholding the integrity and honor of the organization,” he stressed.“And I expect these commanders to lead by example.”

“I will continue to instill in every member of this organization a stronger sense of discipline that will make the difference in the performance of your duties,” he said.

“We will do this together as a fighting force against the evil elements that continue to harm our countrymen,” he said.

Albayalde, however, lauded the strong police presence in the communities in most parts of the country, which, he said, has brought down the crime rate.

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