Ramos purges police force

MANILA (AFP) - President Fidel Ramos cleared out the entire leadership of the Philippines National Police to boost law enforcement amid increasing criticism that he was powerless to combat rising crime.

Mr Ramos said that 239 senior police officials with the rank of colonel and above with 20 years in the force had been ordered to submit applications for retirement within seven days.

The 100,000-strong force has been under fire for its apparent inability to stop a wave of kidnappings aimed at wealthy Chinese-Filipinos and for the alleged involvement of some police officials in the abductions and in other crimes.

The order includes Raul Imperial, the acting police director-general.