Duterte defends police in death of boy during anti-narcotics raid | Inquirer News

Duterte defends police in death of boy during anti-narcotics raid

/ 03:11 PM February 26, 2014


DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Mayor Rodrigo Duterte defended the police over the killing of a 14-year-old boy during a raid on a number of drug dens on the outskirts of Davao, saying the boy was hit in the crossfire and that the police were only “doing their duty.”

Duterte gave no assurance either that similar incidents would not happen again as the city intensifies its war of illegal drugs.


“It was done in connection with the performance of their duty of arresting criminals,” Duterte said of the death of Ronald Asari Lebante during the Feb. 21 raid on drug dens in the village of Tibungco by agents of the Davao City Police, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.


“They were on a specific mission to search and arrest people connected with drugs. But they (suspects) fought back and, unfortunately, the child was hit,” Duterte said Tuesday night, four days after the three agencies conducted the dawn raid in which seven people were killed, including the boy.

Police accounts differed from the stories circulating in the community that no one was able to put up a fight during the raid because everyone was caught unawares.

Duterte said the police were not ready to say whose bullet hit the boy.

“But they (police) said, and I believe them, that it happened in the heat of the gunfight,” Duterte said. “I read the report and was satisfied by the explanation.”

He said he had not yet talked to the parents of the boy but added that he wanted to talk to the community because he was “interested to know why the drug trade is flourishing in that area.”

He described the area of Ilang in Tibungco as a drug  “tiangge (marketplace),” with several houses catering to “clients.” He also said that Ilang  had recently replaced the “miniforest” area on Quezon Boulevard as the new hotbed for illegal drugs in the city.


As to the Korean national caught during the raid, Duterte said, “He would be entitled to all the rights in the Constitution and the international law, but he will have to face the music.”

“He is under arrest,” he said. “For as long as there will be shabu in my city, there will be continuing war; I’m declaring war against drugs.”

Asked what should be done to prevent minors from getting caught in the crossfire, he replied that drugs will always put everyone’s life in danger.


7 killed as cops raid Davao drug den

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TAGS: Davao City, Police, Regions

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