Dela Rosa on PNP’s exit from drug war: ‘Hayahay na!’
Out of the drug war? That only means less work and fewer problems for the Philippine National Police (PNP), according to its chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
“Yes! Hayahay na kami ngayon,” Dela Rosa told reporters at the Senate.
[Yes! We’re relaxed now.]
“You can just imagine, binuhos namin ang lahat, halos 100 percent, ng resources ng PNP for the last year [sa war on drugs]. Eh ‘di now we can focus on other crimes, hindi lang drugs, at bawas na rin sa problema namin,” he said.
[You can just imagine, we poured all, almost 100 percent, of the resources of the PNP last year on the war on drug. So now we can focus on other crimes, not only drugs, and that’s one less problem for us.]
Dela Rosa and other top PNP officials went to the Senate plenary debate on Wednesday to tackle the budget of the PNP for 2018.
According to Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate finance committee, she had spoken with Dela Rosa before the budget debates and she told the chief that the P900 million budget for the PNP’s anti-drug campaign “Oplan Double Barrel” might be in limbo after the recent Malacañang order.
“Yes, it will be affected,” Legarda said. “We will see the P900-million Double Barrel fund, kung ano ba doon ang para sa upkeep ng mga police station, ano doon ang para sa mga baril, sa mga buy-bust operations, at ira-rationalize natin – tatanggalin ang mga di na kailangan at ililipat sa ibang ahensya.”
[Yes, it will be affected. We will see the P900-million Double Barrel fund, to find out which part is for the upkeep of police stations, which part is for firearms, buy-bust operation, and we will rationalize it – removing what is not needed and transfer them to other agencies.]
“Maaring mawala, maaring mabawasan, maaring malipat dahil sa mga pagkakamaling naganap,” Legarda said.
[It may be removed, it may be cut, it may be transferred because of errors committed.]
On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a memorandum order making the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the sole agency that would conduct the anti-drug operations of the government.
The PNP’s task in the drug war will only be limited to maintaining police visibility.
“The PNP, shall at all times maintain police visibility, as a deterrent to illegal drug activities leaving to the PDEA however, the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations,” Duterte said in the memo.
The Duterte administration, particularly the police, has been receiving heavy criticism following the deaths of three teenagers in different drug operations in Caloocan City.
But Dela Rosa said he was also concerned about the gains that Oplan Double Barrel had achieved since its launch last year.
“You’ve already observed na noong pinahinto ang PNP sa drug war for one month, ang clamor ng mga tao ibalik ang PNP dahil nagkalat naman mga adik at pusher sa kanilang mga barangay,” he said. “Basta kami sa PNP, we have to follow the executive order na hands off kami sa drugs.”
[You’ve already observed that when the PNP stopped the drug war for one month, the clamor of the people was for the PNP to return because of the spread of addicts and pushers in their barangays. We in the PNP have to follow the executive order to keep our hands off the anti-drug campaign.]
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