Police chief superintendent Joel Pagdilao, former chief of Philippine National Police’s National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), was among the five police generals that President Rodrigo Duterte said is involved in the drug operations in the country. Pagdilao is denying the allegations, but no less than the President himself has stressed that the case against the five former and current police officials are strong.
Pagdilao’s rise through the ranks is meteoric. He was appointed director of the Quezon City Police District in October 2014 and in just nine months, he became the chief of the NCRPO – a position often regarded as a stepping-stone to becoming the Director General of the PNP.
Anthony Vargas of The Manila Times wrote in 2015 that the influential religious group Iglesia ni Cristo backed Pagdilao’s promotion to the plum post. A member of Philippine Military Academy’s class of 1984, Pagdilao was criticized last year for supposedly being lax in investigating claims of serious illegal detention against INC’s ruling hierarchy.
A month from now, the nation will be commemorating the fourth death anniversary of former Interior and Local Government Secretary and longtime Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo. Once the mourning over his death subsided, one troubling news after another surfaced.
ABS-CBN‘s Anthony Taberna, for example, reported that then-DILG Undersecretary Rico E. Puno tried to get hold of classified documents kept in Robredo’s office and condominium unit. Interestingly, Pagdilao is one of the police officers that accompanied Puno during the clandestine mission.
Later on, it was revealed that in the weeks before he died following a chopper crash, Robredo has been investigating Puno over a multi-million peso arms procurement deal with a company from Israel. That Israeli company, as The Filipino Scribe wrote at that time, is actually blacklisted in India for engaging in corruption. Was Robredo also investigating Pagdilao shortly before he died? If yes, what could be the reason?