MANILA — Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento warned on Monday that he will not hesitate to order the arrest and filing of charges against people or groups of people who are name-dropping him to get financial favors from vice syndicates and other crime organizations.
Sarmiento stressed in a statement he will never provide any form of protection for illegal activities such as narcotics trafficking and illegal gambling and would never allow anyone to represent him for these illicit money-making schemes.
“Let me make it very clear that I will never give protection to anyone, any group or any illegal activity. I will never receive any money to protect illegal activities. I will never allow anyone to represent me just to tarnish my good name. I urge the public to immediately report to the DILG whenever they hear anyone name-dropping me to collect bribes or protection money,” he said.
The DILG chief said he has directed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ricardo Marquez to launch a renewed and more intensive campaign against illegal vices, especially illegal narcotics and illegal gambling.
He said the series of anti-narcotics operations conducted by the PNP that resulted to the arrest of Chinese drug traffickers and the seizure of huge amounts of shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride is an indicator of more aggressive anti-vice operations.
Sarmiento cited the successful PhP50-million drug sting in Quezon City by the PNP National Capital Region’s anti-drug operatives that also resulted in the arrest of five Chinese nationals as a result of the PNP’s heightened anti-vice and anti-drug operations.
“I’m really proud of what the PNP-NCRPO under Chief Supet. Joel Pagdilao is now doing, especially in our anti-drug campaign. We will commend and give the appropriate citation for our police officers who remain true to their calling but we will not hesitate to punish their peers who are on the wrong side of the law,” he warned.
Sarmiento said he would create a separate team to monitor illegal vice and illegal narcotics activities and determine the compliance of regional and provincial police directors in his directive.
He said there would be a scorecard on anti-vice and anti-organized crime operations in each of the PNP regional and provincial offices to ensure a more sustained anti-crime campaign.