2 Mindanao mayors linked to drugs lose power over police

MANILA, Philippines – The National Police Commission (Napolcom) stripped two mayors of their deputation from the commission because of "intelligence information that they are involved in the illegal drugs trade in the country."

That means Gamar Ahay Janihim, mayor of Sirawai in Zamboanga del Norte, and David Navarro, mayor of Clarin in Misamis Occidental, will no longer have administrative control over the police force in their area.

The Napolcom resolution was dated May 18 but the information was released to media on Wednesday, May 31.

"The Commission was convinced that the incidence of illegal activities within the territory of the aforementioned local chief executives, specifically those relating to the illegal drugs trade, constitutes acts inimical to national security or which negate the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign in the country, thus [serving] as a valid ground to suspend or withdraw the deputation bestowed by the Commission," the Napolcom said.

Under the law, local chief executives – mayors and governors – are "automatically deputized" as representatives of the Napolcom. That means mayors and governors may "inspect police forces and units, conduct audit, and exercise other functions as may be duly authorized by the Commission."

"The Commission also ordered the removal and revocation of the duties, obligations, powers and prerogatives vested upon Mayor Janihim and Mayor Navarro as Napolcom deputies," said Napolcom vice chairman and executive officer Rogelio Casurao in the statement.

The deputation can be revoked if a local official is found to have abused his or her authority, provided support to criminals, or engaged in acts that hamper national security or negate peace and order campaigns.

Philippine police have been the frontliners in President Rodrigo Duterte's popular but controversial war on drugs. Duterte had earlier released a list of politicians, police, and members of the judiciary who have supposed links to illegal drugs. 

Many of those in the list appeared in Camp Crame days after Duterte announced it publicly, in hopes of clearing their names. – Rappler.com