Dela Rosa says cops are not vigilantes, denies Reuters report
“We are policemen. We’re not a syndicate.”
Amid relentless allegations that the police have become President Duterte’s “killing machine” in his brutal drug war, Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa strongly denied that he sanctioned killings as part of the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
Although admitting that he has not read the report yet, Dela Rosa denied the accusations of some police officers in a Reuters report that the police planted evidence to make it appear that drug suspects shot it out with lawmen.
He also denied that there were “focus teams” composed of policemen masked as vigilantes, as well as the existence of cash reward system for cops to kill targets.
“Hindi ko sinasanction yung mga trabaho na ‘yan. Pulis kami. Hindi kami mga sindikato. Yang ganyang trabahong yan, trabaho yan ng sindikato,” Dela Rosa said in an ambush interview at Camp Crame on Thursday.
“I never condoned vigilante killings,” he said.
He also called the accusations of the retired and active police officials in the report, which was published on Tuesday, “unfair” to the PNP.
To stress that he is against summary executions, an angry Dela Rosa cursed at the vigilantes who are taking advantage of the drug war and challenged them to a gun duel.
His voice trembling in anger, Dela Rosa said: “Galit na galit nga ako dyan sa mga p… na mga namamaril dyan na walang kalaban-laban na sinasabing vigilante. Kayong mga vigilante humarap kayo sa akin. Tayo magbarilan.”
He dared them to fight him in a shooting match instead of killing civilians with their hands tied.
“Kung kayo magaling bumaril at magaling pumatay, ako harapin niyo. Makipagbarilan kayo sa akin.’ Wag yung mga taong nakatali ang kamay na binabaril niyo sa ulo,” he said./rga
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