The Police Regional Office 11 releases a photo of PO1 Jessie Balabag on Monday, August 8 after he was named as among the suspected police officials involve in drug trade. (Photo from PNP-PRO 11)

DAVAO CITY — A police official from Davao Region named by President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, August 7, as one of those allegedly involved in illegal drug trade was put under restrictive custody and was relieved from his position.

Police Chief Inspector Andrea dela Cerna, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 11 identified the police official as Police Inspector Martin Plaza. He was  the former chief of intelligence in Panabo City Police station.

Dela Cerna said they are conducting a lifestyle check Plaza.

The regional command was given the list of police personnel allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

Authorities are also searching for the whereabouts of PO3 Jessie Balabag who was dismissed on August 3 last year for serious neglect of duty. Balabag was also included in the list read by Duterte.

“We are requesting the public to share any information on PO3 Balabag’s whereabouts and report it to the nearest police station,” said Dela Cerna.

Meanwhile, PO3 Filomeno Soroño, a police officer who was named in the list has “died due to cardiac arrest in Mati, City,” said Dela Cerna.

Dela Cerna said two personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group personnel were also directed to report to the headquarters in Manila on Monday, August 8. They were identified as SPO3 Ritchie Mat of CIDG Mati, Davao Oriental and  SPO3  Rosell Iliviera from CIDG Tagum, Davao del Norte.

Dela Cerna added that they are still validating other information they receive. She said that they will “hunt down all rouge cops in the organization involved in illegal drugs.”

“The PNP does not and will never condone any member of the organization who violates the law and gets involved in illegal activities. Those who are guilty are strongly urged to change or surrender. Nonetheless, all those involved in such, shall be sanctioned accordingly and shall be subject to dismissal from police service if proven guilty,” she said.

Duterte admitted that he “could be wrong” on the names that was included on the list that he read during his visit at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan here.

But Duterte said that “it has undergone a process,” so any mistake of the military and the police will be his responsibility.

“I’m the one reading it and I am the sole person responsible for this,” he said.

Duterte ordered those who have mentioned on the list to report to the chief of the PNP within 24 hours. (davaotoday.com)

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