Bato: ‘Cops are not butchers who kill for no reason’
“We’re not butchers who arbitrarily kill people. “
Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa on Tuesday made this strong statement before the Senate committee on justice and human rights during its inquiry into the spate of extrajudicial killings.
Senator Gringo Honasan, a fellow Philippine Military Academy alumnus of De la Rosa, asked to explain the frustration the police chief showed on the first day of the hearing when he responded to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s suggestion to relieve commanders who would fail to stop the killings in their area.
“Kami po ay tao lang. Nakaka-feel kami ng frustration. Gustong gusto po talaga naming gampanan ang papel dito sa mundo bilang pulis eh kami tao rin… Kami binuwis buhay namin, ‘yung mga pulis ko nagkakakaso. Mga tao rin kami, hindi kami perpekto, kaya sana naman po ‘yung treatment sa amin ibabalance lang din po,” de la Rosa said.
(We are only human. We feel frustration. We really want to do our duty as policemen, but we are also human…We risk our lives, police face charges. We are also human and we are not perfect, so we ask that the treatment be balanced.)
De la Rosa said it saddens him that despite the apparent success of the PNP’s campaign against drugs, some sectors make it appear as if they were the enemies.
“Kasi kapag ako pumunta sa mga barangay, ramdam na ramdam ko po ‘yung taong bayan na hahawak sa akin everywhere I go. Mahigpit, maramdaman ko ‘yung panginginig ng kalamanan at pagtulo ng luha at magsasabi sakin, ‘Sir, salamat sa ginagawa niyo. ‘Yung ginagawa niyo po ay para sa aking mga anak na,’ aalis na lang ‘yun. No further comment,” he said.
“Ako ramdam na ramdam ko ang tuwa ng taumbayan sa ginagawa namin pero bakit may ibang sector na pinapalabas na kami masama? ‘Yan po sama ng loob namin. Hindi po kami mamamatay tao. Kami ay pulis. We are here to serve and protect. Hindi po kami butcher na pumapatay ng tao na walang karason rason.”
(Because when you go to the barangays, I feel that they hold me everywhere I go. They hold on to me tightly and I feel the trembling in their body and their tears falling, telling me, “Sir, thank you for what you have done. What you are doing is for my children.” Then they just leave. No further comment.
(I really feel the joy of the people with what we are doing, but why are there sectors that make us appear as the bad guys. That pains us. We are not murderers. We are the police. We are here to serve and protect. We are not butchers who kill for no reason at all.)
De la Rosa added that filing charges against his men was difficult for him, citing the murder complaint the PNP filed against PO2 Alipio Balo Jr. and PO1 Michael Tomas, the cops who killed drug pusher Jaypee Bertes and his father Renato after the victims allegedly tried to grab the gun of the police last July 7.
“Itong dalawa, napatay ‘yung dalawa dun sa loob ng selda. Masakit sa loob namin na file-an namin murder case, otherwise, sasabihan nag-cover up kami ng tao namin. Masakit kasi tao namin pero kami nagfa-file ng kaso,” he said.
(These two killed those inside the jail cell. It hurts us to file a murder case against them, otherwise, we would be told we are covering our people up. It hurts because these are our people but we are the ones who file cases against them.) CDG/rga
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