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Duterte wants 20,000 more troops to tackle threat
By Manolo B. Jara / AFP August 07, 2017
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MANILA: President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte has asked lawmakers to approve the recruiting of 20,000 more soldiers to tackle increased security threats following a bloody urban siege in the south, his spokesman said on Sunday.

“The request of the president for additional 20,000 troops is part of our intensified security posture to guard areas in the country where there are continuing security threats,” spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

Meanwhile, it is reported that a total of 1, 122 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been arrested for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs, extortion and other crimes despite the ongoing campaign to rid the agency of “rogue” officers and men.

Senior Superintendent Jose Chiquito Malayo reported the arrests were made since January when his unit was set up by Director General Ronald dela Rosa, the PNP chief, to go after “scalawags” giving a bad name to the agency as it pursues the government’s war on illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa himself expressed “frustration” over the report, pointing out that unlike drug addicts, the arrested officers and men were in their “proper state of mind” and yet resorted to illegal activities.

“Their thinking is not affected by drugs and yet they still do these things (commit illegal activities),” Dela Rosa said in a mix of Filipino and English during a radio interview.

“It’s a social phenomenon that is hard to explain,” he added, pointing out the rogue PNP members apparently did not care even if their families bore the brunt of the shame and embarrassment if criminal charges were filed against them.

In his report to Dela Rosa, Malayo said that of the total of 1,122 arrested, 249 were police officers while the remaining 873 were non-commissioned PNP personnel.

Malayo also reported the Metro Manila regional police command led with the most number of scalawags arrested with 385, followed by Calabarzon with 147 and Central Luzon with 141.

Calabarzon stands for the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Rizal in Southern Luzon, one of the country’s richest regions as the host to many big local and multinational companies located in its industrial parks and export processing zones.

“A majority of the policemen were identified by informants through text hotlines for their involvement in illegal drugs and extortion,” Malayo revealed.

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