ALABEL, Sarangani—“Retire now or I will ask for your resignation in public.”
President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte gave this warning on Wednesday to three high-ranking officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) whom he earlier tagged as involved in “corrupt” activities.
Speaking before thousands of residents and local government leaders at the jam-packed provincial capitol gymnasium here, Duterte reiterated that the “higher echelons” of the PNP has “three generals who are really tainted with drugs.”
He said the accused police officials should just retire from service practically in the next seven days or before he assumes office as the country’s 16th President at noon on June 30.
“Otherwise, I will name them publicly and ask for their resignation publicly,” he said amid cheers from the crowd.
But Duterte, who issued his initial warning to the concerned police officials during his thanksgiving party in Davao City earlier this month, said he still believes that most of the country’s police officers are “very good.”
He said that as long as police officers are doing their mandates right, they are assured of his full support.
Police officers who might be accused “unfairly” by some sectors for doing their jobs could get help from him, he said.
“Wag nyo lang akong bolahin (Just don’t trick me) and I will take care of you. I will protect you,” he said.
As to the “drug lords” and personalities involved in drug-related activities, he said they will meet their match when he assumes office.
“To everyone, do not destroy my country because I will really kill you. Do not destroy our youth,” he said.
“They (the youth) are the future of our country. I don’t want us to have Filipinos in the future who are mostly mentally ill (because of illegal drugs,” Duterte added.
The incoming President was here to witness the oath taking on Wednesday afternoon of the newly-elected officials of Sarangani Province and this city, and Senator-elect Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao.
The oath-taking was presided by Executive Judge Oscar P. Noel of the Regional Trial Court here.
Dubbed “Convergence,” the event was described as the “inauguration and dedication to God in unity, integrity and prosperity” of the area’s elected officials.
Duterte, who arrived aboard a private chopper at past 4:00 p.m., said he decided to attend the event to see his “good friend” Senator-elect Pacquiao take his oath of office.
He said Pacquiao, who ran under Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance, was among the first ones who tried to convince him to run for President.