Bato: PNP ready to go back to drug war
“The situation is getting worse,” said Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, describing the drug problem in the country after President Rodrigo Duterte took away the police’s role in his bloody drug war.
If Dela Rosa had his way, he wants the PNP to resume its anti-drug operations because drug users and pushers are going back to business.
Duterte suspended the war on drugs since he wants the PNP to focus first on weeding out bad cops in its ranks. This was triggered by the October 2015 killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo by unscrupulous anti-drug policemen inside Camp Crame.
“Kung pwede (If it’s possible), we are ready to go back to war if given orders by the President but since he has suspended us from taking part in the war on drugs, wala kaming magawa ngayon kung ‘di maghintay sa kanyang (there’s nothing we can do right now but to wait for his) reinstatement orders,” Dela Rosa said in a press conference at Camp Crame on Monday.
“Sayang ‘yung gains na nakuha natin from the first seven months ng ating war on drugs. Nasasayangan ako (The gains we have achieved from the first seven months of our war on drugs would be wasted. What a waste) so the sooner the better,” he said.
Dela Rosa also supported the call of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a staunch ally of Duterte, to relaunch the anti-drug drive. He made this appeal during the rally in support of Duterte at the Quirino Grandstand over the weekend.
But the police chief said he will not make a recommendation to the President, adding that he will just wait for Duterte’s next orders.
“Baka sabihan ni Presidente pinapangunahan mo ako ha (The President might say I’m preempting him). The President naman is on top of the situation. Alam nya yung nangyayari sa buong Pilipinas kaya (He knows what’s happening in the entire Philippines) we will just await his orders,” he said.
“Hindi ako pwede magsabi sa kanya baka sabihin niya, ‘Bakit atat na atat ka bumalik?’ Ayaw ko ng gano’n (I can’t preempt him. He might say, “Why are you eager to return?” I don’t want that),” Dela Rosa said.
Since the drug war’s suspension in January, the PNP had started intensifying its internal cleansing efforts.
More than 50 cops with derogatory records have been sent to Basilan and other war-torn provinces.
After the press briefing at Crame, Dela Rosa presided over a command conference attended by top PNP officials, national support unit commanders and regional commanders “to discuss the internal cleansing in the PNP,” said PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos./rga
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