PNP budget

Sen. Bam backs transfer of P900M Tokhang budget to PDEA

​​Senator Bam Aquino expressed support behind the move to strip the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the P900-million Oplan Tokhang budget and realign it to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the lead agency in the war against illegal drugs.

​​“The budget allotted for the PNP’s Oplan Tokhang must be stripped and realigned to the new lead agency of the fight against illegal drugs,” said Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the Committee on Finance.

 “Sinusuportahan natin ang plano ng Senado na ilagay ang nasabing pondo sa PDEA​. Kailangan rin suriin muli ang kabuuang budget ng PNP na tumaas ng P20 bilyon, mula P111 bilyon noong 2017 patungong P131 bilyon para sa 2018,” added Sen. Bam.

 ​​If realigned, Sen. Bam wants the PDEA to utilize the additional budget for training of its personnel and rehabilitation of drug users and not as ​a quota or ​bounty bonus.

 ​​“A lot of pressure is on PDEA to do this right and without the backlash of the killings and collateral damage,” said Sen. Bam.

​ ​Recently, Sen. Bam worked for the passage of the 2018 budget of several government agencies, including the Department of Education and Department of Science and Technology, as sponsor.

Bam questions PNP: Why are scalawags still in service?

Sen. Bam Aquino urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to hasten the process of dismissing scalawag policemen from the service to stop the abuses and help regain the trust of Filipino people in the organization.

“Iyong mga pag-abuso ng mga pulis na nakikita natin hindi iyan mababawasan kung hindi mababawasan iyong mga delinkwenteng kapulisan na dapat tinatanggal sa hanay ng PNP,” said Sen. Bam during the interpellation for the 2018 budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

 “The sooner we’re able cleanse our ranks, the faster we will be able to stop these abuses na nangyayari,” added Sen. Bam.

 “Of our 181,000 policemen, ​PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa stated​ around two percent, while the president has mentioned five percent of the police force is involved in illegal drugs. This gives us a range of 3,620 to over 9,000 policemen involved in illegal drugs,” he added.

Currently, 447 policemen are under surveillance while 262 policemen have already been dismissed for various reasons and not necessarily for involvement in drugs.

 Sen. Bam is hoping the PNP will focus on these cases in the coming months to ensure that the organization is closer to getting rid of its ranks of scalawags.

 “Sana maaksuyanan muna ng PNP ang paglinis ng kanilang mga rangko bago sila magsagawa ng malawakang drug operation na posibleng magdulot ng pang-aabuso at pagkamatay ng mga inosenteng tao,” said Sen. Bam.

 Sen. Bam also wants ensure that the PNP has the necessary budget for its internal cleansing.

 “The PNP should pursue its internal cleansing just as ferociously as the country’s drug problem. With the war on drugs being the main thrust of the administration and with Filipinos feeling threatened by the violence tied to this war, we need to ensure that our policemen are trustworthy and upstanding,” emphasized Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam asks DILG, PNP: Why are drug infested barangays on the rise?

​Sen. Bam Aquino​ ​​questioned the rise in number of drug-infested barangays in the country despite the aggressive campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against illegal drugs​.

 ​​”In just seven months, the number of moderately drug-affected barangays jumped from 4,303 to 9,207. Why is there such a large increase, more than double,” Sen. Bam Aquino asked ​d​​uring his interpellation on the budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)​.

 Moderately affected barangays are defined as areas where at least two percent of the population are involved in illegal drugs. Based on records from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), these barangays increased from 4,303 to 9,207 from January to July of this year.

 ​​On the other hand,​ ​Sen. Bam lauded the decrease in the number of seriously affected barangays – or communities with a reported presence of a drug laboratory or marijuana plantation — from 217 in January 2017 to just 44 identified in July of the same year.

“May progreso naman ang kampanya ng pamahalaan. Maybe we can expect this to drop to zero seriously affected barangays by the end of the year,” said Sen. Bam.

 ​Still, Sen. Bam asserted that the police force must work to win the trust of the Filipino people, especially with the issues hounding the government’s drug war.

“Marami nang Pilipino ang natatakot na maging collateral damage ng drug war,” said Sen. Bam, referring to the June 23 to 26, 2017 SWS survey where seven of 10 Filipinos expressed fear that they themselves or someone they know will become a victim of an extrajudicial killing (EJK).

  The senator noted that ​while the drop in the country’s crime rate is commendable, there are still regions with alarming numbers for homicide cases, such as ​​Central Luzon ​with 1,397 deaths, CALABARZON with 2,185, Davao Region with 1,141 deaths and NCR with 3,141 deaths.

 “Bakit may mga areas na bumaba ang crime rate na wala ga​a​nong homicide cases​ habang may mga regions na in the thousands ang mga namamatay?” Sen. Bam asked the DILG and PNP.

 “Dapat pag-aralan ang mga area gaya ng​ M​IMAROPA​​ ​​at CAR na mababa ang kaso ng pagpatay. Hindi ba ito ang dapat tularan, na sa ​ pagbaba ng​​ ​crime rate, mababa rin ang bilang ng namamatay,” ​​​stated Sen. Bam, to which the PNP agreed.

 Region 4-B or MIMAROPA reported 273 deaths while CAR reported 175 deaths.

Sen. Bam also encouraged the DILG to hasten the process of dismissing scalawag policemen from the service to stop the abuses and ​the killings. As of latest data, the PNP said around two percent or 3,620 of the 181,000 policemen in the country are involved in illegal drugs.

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