EIGHT policemen who failed a random drug examination conducted by the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) were relieved of their posts and assigned to CCPO headquarters.
The policemen, who were mostly hand ranks of PO1, PO2 and PO3, came from different police stations in the city.
CCPO Director Melvin Ramon Buenafe said he recommended the transfer as he wants to closely monitor the policemen in his headquarters.
“They will also be disarmed, considering the fact that they are using drugs,” said Buenafe.
Buenafe also ordered the Investigation and Detective Management Branch to conduct a pre-charge investigation against the eight policemen.
PRO 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr. said the policemen should be placed in a holding unit until the confirmatory testing result come out next week.
He said once proven guilty, the policemen may be dismissed from service.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama commended Buenafe for holding the random drug test at the Camp Sotero Cabahug headquarters last Wednesday morning.
The mayor also recommended that the eight policemen undergo a rehabilitation program.
Buenafe, who initiated the random drug test, said he will impose disciplinary action on the policemen if the results are confirmed.
The results will be sent to Manila for further examination. If they still come up positive, the policemen will face administrative investigation, Buenafe said.
PRO 7 Director Garbo said while results of the drug test might give a negative connotation on the police force, this is one way to prove to the public that the PNP is trying its best to clean its ranks.
He also suggested a background check on the policemen for possible links to the drug trade.
“Of course we will not only apprehend policemen who are using drugs but also those who are involved in drugs,” added Garbo.
He added that based on his records in PRO 7, six policemen have been dismissed for failing the drug test.
Last Wednesday morning, at least 27 policemen took the random drug test, including Buenafe.
Apart from the police chief, those who were tested were reportedly chosen upon the recommendation of the station chiefs.
They were summoned to a seminar, but they were not told that they had to take a drug test there, said Buenafe.
One policeman who failed to show up for the test is now under investigation, he added.
Buenafe said the drug test was meant to show the organization’s concern for every police operative’s health and also to check if they are in the right condition to
serve the public.
“A policeman should be in the right condition, mentally and physically, to serve the public,” said Buenafe.
The use of illegal drugs would compromise the police operative’s work and decision-making, he said. (Jewel R. Villaflores, STC Mass Comm intern)