His 1st visit as PNP chief

LESS BLOODY? PNP Chief, Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil said that while the campaign against illegal drugs will continue under the Marcos administration, they will focus on drug lords and not just on street peddlers as he assured that their approach would result in reduced violence.(PRO-8)

CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, PALO, Leyte-Police Director General Rommel Francisco Marbil said that the anti-drug campaign under the administration of Pres. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., will target the ‘higher level’ or the drug lords and not just those in the street peddling illegal drugs.

Marbil made this remark in an ambush interview with the local media on Tuesday (April 23), as he made his first command visit to the regional headquarters of the Philippine National Police since he assumed the post as the country’s top police officer on April 1.

“Our efforts will now concentrate on disrupting the supply chains by tackling the higher level of the drug trade. This shift in focus will alleviate the burden on law enforcement, as we aim to apprehend the true orchestrators and protectors of this illicit industry,” the PNP chief said.

“Our agenda revolves around dismantling drug networks, not engaging in a ‘war’ on drugs. It’s always been a campaign for us within the PNP,” Marbil, who served as Eastern Visayas police regional director from August 15, 2022 until May 2,2023, added.

He also insisted that what they are waging is not a war on illegal drugs but just a campaign against the illegal substance.

“Ang sinasabi namin sa PNP, it’s always a campaign. Wala po kasing (anti-drug) war,” he said.

Marbil also said that they will continue to ‘improve’ their strategies to rid the country of the illegal drugs.

“While our previous strategies have yielded results, adversaries have adapted, prompting us to refine our approach continually. We are committed to enhancing our campaign plan to mitigate drug-related activities,” he said.

President Marcos had earlier declared his administration’s commitment to continue the anti-drug campaign, assuring a less violent approach compared to the previous administration under Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte’s tenure was marked by a controversial and aggressive anti-drug campaign, resulting in numerous casualties and drawing scrutiny from international bodies such as the International Criminal Court.

Records from the government said that about 8,000 people died due to the anti-drug war of the Duterte administration though some human rights groups claimed as high as 30,000 people died due to the brutal campaign of the previous administration.

Meantime, during his visit to the region, Marbil led in the blessing of the new gates of the PNP-8 headquarters and the blessing of the building of the Association of Police Officers via Lateral Entry Inc. (APOLE-8) which is headed by former police regional information officer, Ma. Bella Rentuaya.

The PNP chief also met with Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and personally turned over two police patrol cars to the city police office.

And his meeting with police personnel in the region, led by B/Gen. Reynaldo Pawid, the police regional director, Marbil expressed his happiness on his visit to the region as PNP chief.

“I am glad to return to my unit where I learned to become a true Filipino. They really helped me become one of the best (police officers),” he later said during an interview.