Palace: PNP chief’s remark on secret cell his ‘personal opinion’
Malacañang said on Tuesday Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), was voicing his “personal opinion” when he defended police officers behind the secret cell in a police station in Tondo, Manila.
“The Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief has expressed his personal opinion on the matter,” Secretary Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, said in a statement.
In a television interview on Friday night, De la Rosa said the secret cell was “okay” with him as long as the policement didn’t hurt or extort from the detainees.
A team from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) discovered on the night of April 27, 12 people in a hidden chamber behind a shelf inside Station 1 of the Manila Police District.
Ths people, allegedly drug suspects, were being held inside the narrow and stinky cell even without formal charges or any record.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, hit De la Rosa’s remarks, saying his defense was ”incomprehensible” and “very arrogant.”
“Defending policemen for maintaining an unlivable secret prison cell hidden behind a book shelf inside a police station is incomprehensible,” Lacson said in a text message. “It is also very arrogant.”
Despite criticisms against De la Rosa, Abella said it would best to wait for the results of the investigation on the secret cell.
“However, let us wait for the report of the Internal Affairs Service, which is now investigating the Manila Police District Station 1 before we make a formal statement,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed “to look into” and would call De la Rosa. /atm