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Bato mum on Lascañas’ death squad claims

/ 01:30 PM March 07, 2017
Bato dela Rosa, Arturo Lascañas

PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS/EDWIN BACASMAS

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa was tightlipped about his alleged involvement in the killings committed by the death squad of then Davao city Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an ambush interview a day after the Senate probed the testimonies of ex-Davao cop SPO3 Arturo Lascañas, Dela Rosa repeatedly brushed off reporters’ questions on Lascañas’ claim that Duterte instructed him to kill people when he was still the police director in Davao City.

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READ: Duterte also ordered ‘Bato’ to kill people, Lascañas says

During the Senate inquiry on Monday, Lascañas said he and Dela Rosa had worked together in targeting the most wanted criminal in Davao Del Sur, Felicisimo Cunanan Jr., and coordinated with him about the kidnapping and killing of Sali Makdum.

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“No comment,” Dela Rosa told reporters when pressed to react on the claims of the retired cop.

“Papaubaya muna natin sa Senado dahil ongoing ang investigation. Kung papatawag naman ako doon, mahirap ma-preempt ‘yung investigation… Kasi baka sabihin ngakngak ka nang ngakngak sa media tapos hindi mo naman sinasabi sa Senado,” he added.

(We’ll let the Senate handle it because the investigation is still ongoing. If they will summon me…I don’t want to preempt the investigation. I don’t want to be painted as someone who keeps yakking in the media and not saying these things in the Senate.)

Asked if he was categorically denying the allegations of Lascañas, Dela Rosa again answered: “No comment.”

But Dela Rosa, who served as the Davao City police chief from 2012 to 2013 under Duterte and his daughter Mayor Sara, admitted that he personally knew Lascañas.

“Syempre (kilala ko siya). Pulis ako ng Davao eh. Ordinaryong pulis lang naman siya (Lascañas),” he said.

(Of course, I know him. I was Davao’s (chief of) police. He was an ordinary police.)

The Senate has closed its inquiry on the revelations of Lascañas, saying his statements have “no probative value.” IDL/rga

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TAGS: Arturo Lascañas, Bato dela Rosa, Davao Death Squad, Politics, Rodrigo Duterte
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