PNP chief confirms ‘palit-ulo’ scheme but denies Robredo version
“Palit-ulo” (head swapping) exists but not the version being peddled by Vice President Leni Robredo, the chief of the Philippine National Police said on Monday.
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa said policemen were not arresting relatives of drug suspects who did not surrender.
“I deny the version of ‘palit-ulo’ mentioned by the Vice President. If there were such cases, I have yet to receive a complaint about them,” Dela Rosa said.
He said the head-swapping scheme that he was familiar with involved policemen persuading arrested drug suspects to rat on their suppliers in exchange for the filing of less serious charges than the ones they were facing.
“If you are a drug pusher and you are caught, palit-ulo means you spill the beans on your drug lord in exchange for a lighter offense,” Dela Rosa said.
“That’s palit-ulo. If you are charged with a lesser offense, you could post a bail bond.”
In a video presented at a UN conference in Austria, Robredo claimed erring policemen were arresting relatives of drug suspects in poor communities if the suspects did not surrender.
Dela Rosa said he had yet to get a formal complaint about such practice, warning that he would “punch” any policeman doing such a thing.
“Arresting the mother or father of a drug suspect if they can’t find the suspect … Present the (policeman) to me and I will punch him. I will not allow it if they are doing that,” he said.
Dela Rosa also denied receiving a letter from the camp of the Vice President inquiring about palit-ulo.
“Honestly, I did not receive any such letter,” he said.
The PNP spokesperson, Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, earlier said that it would have been better if the Vice President had consulted the PNP first before airing the issue in an international conference.
The camp of the Vice President replied that it had written the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the PNP about the matter in January but did not get any reply.