Malacañang finds nothing wrong with the offer of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Archie Gamboa of optional retirement to around 350 policemen said to be involved in illegal drugs.
Chief presidential Legal Counsel and spokesman Salvador Panelo pointed out, however, that early retirement doesn’t mean exemption from prosecution should they be found criminally liable.
“They’re still subject to prosecution, so there’s nothing wrong there. It would be different if you give optional retirement then there is criminal waiver of the prosecution,” Panelo explained.
“But you know, giving them retirement option doesn’t mean that they will not be prosecuted if there’s evidence they’ve been involved,” he explained.
“If they are criminally prosecuted, if that will part of the judgement of the court can they do anything?,” the Palace mouthpiece asked.
Panelo said getting rid of them through retirement doesn’t preclude the filing of criminal prosecution.
“That would be unlawful. You cannot waive criminal prosecution when there is a violation of a law,” he added.
Gamboa was earlier quoted as saying that if policemen involved in illegal drugs want peace of mind, they should be open to their offer of optional retirement.
“If you don’t want to embarrass yourself, if you are guilty and you’re seeing that you won’t get through, if you want peace of mind, then we offer you optional retirement.” Gamboa said.