Bato vows support to cops involved in Espinosa slay
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa vowed to stand behind the cops who, on Nov. 4, raided the cell of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and killed the alleged drug lord.
Despite the apparent lapses committed by 24 Eastern Visayas Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Regional Maritime Unit (RMU) cops in the search, Dela Rosa said he would support his men.
But not to the extent that he would lie for them to cover up their mistakes, the police chief said during his meeting with the officials of the National Press Club (NPC), who paid a courtesy call on the chief on Tuesday.
“Hindi pwedeng ilaglag ko sila dahil tao ko sila. Ipapakita ko na fair ako dahil masisira naman kami dyan pag i-cover up ko sila. On the other hand, tao ko sila so dapat ipakita ko ‘yung suporta ko sa kanila,” he told the NPC members.
“Suportahan ko pa rin ang mga tao ko but not to the extent na magsisinungaling ako. Iyan ang pinaka-ayaw ko—ang magsinungaling,” he said.
But he said even with his backing, erring cops should own up to their mistakes, stressing that there was no order from the PNP leadership to take down Espinosa.
“Hindi pwedeng the whole PNP will go down with you. Kung nagkamali kayo, sagutin niyo ‘yung pagkakamali niyo dahil hindi ko naman kayo inutusan to kill at ganun ang gawin,” Dela Rosa said.
President Duterte, meanwhile, said he believes the version of the police in the killing of Espinosa. The President, who vowed to kill drug lords and pushers in the drug war, said he found nothing questionable in the police operation.
All 24 members of CIDG and RMU Region 8 are being probed by the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service and the National Police Commission for the death of Espinosa during a search inside the Baybay City sub-provincial jail in Leyte. TVJ/rga
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