Aquino questions gov’t policies on war on drugs, food security
Updated (7:50 p.m.)
In an event held to commemorate the death anniversary of his father, Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., former President Benigno Aquino III asked the government to shed light on issues surrounding the war on illegal drugs.
During his speech after the “Mass for National Transformation” on Tuesday afternoon, Aquino discussed the controversies involving drug suspects who allegedly retaliated against police officers even when handcuffed.
“Kung sinusunod ion tinatawag na SOP (standard operating procedure), pinosasan, ang kamay nasa likod, ‘yong tao inupo sa sasakyan […] napaka-hirap pong ilapit ‘yong kanyang dalawang kamay sa baril ng kanyang katabi (If the standard operating procedure is followed, a suspect is handcuffed. It would be very difficult for that person to grab the gun of a police officer),” Aquino said.
“‘Pag na-agaw pa niya, lalong mas mahirap na ipihit ‘yong kanyang katawan para ipihit sa mga nagbabantay sa kanya (Even if the suspect succeeds in grabbing the gun, it would be extremely difficult again for that person to shoot his police escorts),” he explained.
According to the former chief executive, it is the responsibility of the Philippine National Police leadership and the police instructors to properly train policemen.
“Sa madaling salita po, ‘pag may nangyaring sitwasyon na ganito, natural ho, obligasyon ng mga nagtuturo sa ating mga umaaresto, sapul ang kanilang mga hepe, i-paaalala ang standard operating procedure (In short, if there were incidents like this, it is the obligation of the police mentors and the police chief to remind policemen of the standard operating procedure),” Aquino claimed.
“Gawin ito, bawas ang mga panganib sa mga nagbabantay, buhay ang suspek na arestado. Kayo na ho ang magsabi sa akin kung bakit wala tayong nakikitang nasesermonan, napapagalitan, napapa-retraining sa mga sitwasyon na nanlaban at nakipag-agawan (This will reduce risk for the policemen and will ensure that the suspect stays alive and unharmed. Now, tell me why no one has been reprimanded or sent to be re-trained),” he added.
Aquino, who has been mum on the policy direction of his successor President Rodrigo Duterte since his term ended, also questioned the administration on allegations that guns seized from drug suspects have the same similar serial number.
“Pare-pareho daw po ang serial number ng mga baril na nakukuha. Gusto nating malaman paano kaya nangyari na bawat baril na may sariling serial number, nagkapare-pareho ang nakukuhang ebidensya (They say that the confiscated guns have the same serial number. We want to know how this happened),” he said.
He also lamented the public’s diverse reaction on the issue of food security, which is something that both administrations — his and Duterte’s — have to deal with.
“Noong bumaba ang supply at tumaas ang presyo ng bigas, kaliwa’t kanan po ang banat na inabot namin (When the supply of rice went down and prices went up, we were heavily criticized),” Aquino said in jest.
“Ngayon po, hindi lang po bumaba ang supply ng bigas, sinabi nga po ng NFA na naubos na at may parating, ano po ba ang naririnig natin (Now that the supply not only went down, the NFA said the supply has been depleted, though supplies are coming, what did we hear)?” he asked.
Asked why he has been silent about issues hounding the Duterte administration, Aquino said he prefers it that way to avoid allegations that he is hindering the new government’s projects.
“Sabi ko nga ho, hindi ako magsasalita isang taon habang nanunungkulan ‘yong pumalit sa atin. Umabot na tayo sa dalawang taon, natatanong niyo, bakit ka hindi nagsasalita, nagbago ka na ba (I said I will not comment for one year about the new administration. It’s been two years. Now you ask me, why are you still not saying anything. Have you changed)?” he said.
“Wala hong pagbabago sa atin. Ayaw ko rin namang sabihin nila’ng kaya hindi maabot ang kanilang gustong maabot ay dahil nakiki-alam tayo (Nothing has changed. I don’t want them to say that they haven’t achieved what they are supposed to achieve because we are meddling),” Aquino reasoned out.
According to the former president, despite his pronouncements, he has to be careful with his words because the administration apparently treats him as an enemy.
“Maingat akong mag-komento dahil ang trato sa akin ay kalaban. ‘Pag nagmungkahi ako, baka panindigan na lang ng naka-upo ang nabitawang salita, at mas mapasama pa ang taumbayan (I am cautious in my comments because they treat me as the enemy. If we make suggestions, they may stand by what they alread said and it may be disadvatangeous to the public),” Aquino said.
“Pinabayaan natin sila, may pruweba na tayo kung anong direksyon nila, kayo na po ang magsabi kung anong direksyon ang tama (We already have proof of the direction they are taking. You be the judge on what direction is right),” he added. /ee
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