From where they are from their perch, whether in active duty or in retirement, the naming, shaming and falling of the five police generals, after being publicly identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as involved in illegal drug operation, is long, hard and devastating.
What is doubly making the accusation disgraceful is that it is done by no less than the president of the country and therefore highlights the incompetency of their leadership of an organization that is supposed to look after the security and well being of its citizens.
It is not an easy task to name names and/or relieve them from their assignments, as what happened to retired Generals Marcelo Gardo and Vicente Loot and to active Generals Bernardo Diaz, Joel Pagdilao and Eduardo Tinio, for somebody who won overwhelmingly the presidency on the promise that he will rid the country of corrupt officials, fight criminality and stop whatever it takes to make the Philippines a narco-political country, but Duterte simply had to walk the talk.
Duterte who shows seething disgust and strongly abhors the ills that is plaguing the country, especially the proliferation of illegal drugs, has done what previous presidents feared to do because of political backlash, one time or another. It certainly took “cojones” (balls) and political will, the holy grail that generates force and makes radical change happen for the better.
While many approve what the president has done, some quarters are calling foul the loudest among them Sen. Gingo Honasan, who himself found notoriety in leading coups against the presidency of Cory Aquino to no avail, saying, “names are immaterial” as he underscored the importance for authorities to observe due process and the rule of law and not unfairly subject the named generals to trial by publicity because the children and family who are not involved here are affected.”
But would it not be foolish for Duterte to undermine and negate the covenant he made with the people by making false accusations of high police officials just for him to look good and effective?
Duterte must have a strong and substantive dossier collected about these high ranking police generals because he claims that even when he was still mayor in Davao City he already had the same names in his list, and perhaps more for all we know.
I don’t think the naming of the generals is politically motivated, although they all have been dubbed as the ‘Roxas generals’, but it just shows how much he hates illegal drugs and those involved in it that he has been monitoring the scourge even at the local government level.
If Duterte has been able to find a cache of deleterious information against these ‘narco-police generals’ while still a mayor, how much more now that he has control over all government agencies tasked to go after illegal drug menace in the country?
Even returning Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former police general himself, confirms that as president, Duterte has even more reliable information to extract from to validate his allegations against the fallen police generals.
So what gives?