Bato sorry about Kian’s death but won’t visit wake
PALO, Leyte – Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, has no plans of visiting the wake of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos who was killed by police during a drug raid in Caloocan City last week.
But it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t feel sorry about what happened to the Grade 11 pupil.
De la Rosa told reporters at the Police Regional Office-Eastern Visayas headquarters that he was not a politician who would go to the wake of Delos Santos when the family was still grieving over the loss of the young boy.
“Gusto mo bang makipag-plastikan ako doon parehas na rin akong pulitiko kung pupunta ako doon. Makiki-plastikan kunyari (Do you want me to be pretentious like a politician if I’ll go there? I’ll be pretending),” he said after he attended the 116th anniversary of PRO-8 at its regional headquarters here.
“I know they are grieving. Masama ang loob nila. Pulis ang nakapatay sa anak nila tapos ako pupunta ako doon para makiplastikan para sampalin ako ng mother (They feel bad. The police killed their son then I would go there just to be slapped by the mother),” he added.
Several politicians went to visit the wake of Delos Santos and offered support to the family.
Among them were Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Risa Hontiveros, both critics of the brutal anti-illegal drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Both condemned the killing of Delos Santos and promised to help the family seek justice.
Asked if he still believed that Delos Santos was a drug courier even if President Duterte thought otherwise, Dela Rosa said his opinion was based on the intelligence report of the Caloocan police.
“We respect his opinion. Walang problema sa akin yan (I don’t have a problem with that),” he said.
“I am just referring to the report of the Caloocan police district that Kian was a courier. That was the report sent to me and the reason why an operation was conducted,” he added.
President Duterte said in a press conference on Monday night that he didn’t believe that Delos Santos was a drug courier and vowed that the police responsible for his death would be held accountable and be put into prison if found guilty.
Delos Santos’ father, Zaldy, has denied that the boy was into illegal drugs and said he was willing to undergo drug test to prove that he was not engaged in the illicit activity.
Dela Rosa admitted that he felt sorry that Delos Santos died at a young age and vowed that he would not condone the abuses of his men.
Granting that Delos Santos was a drug courier, he said the boy should not have been executed.
But he said the police claimed that the boy died in a shootout with the Caloocan operatives.
“No, pareho lang tayo ng pakiramdam (We feel the same way) but I cannot readily condemn kaagad yung mga police because the operation I presumed the regularity in the performance of their duty. Kaya nga lang, may namatay na bata (But a boy died),” he said.
Despite the incident, Dela Rosa said the campaign against illegal drugs would continue.
“The intensity nandoon pa rin pero with the reminders sa kanila na kung sino man ang umabuso; sino maglalabis, sigurado mananagot at di naman ito-tolerate yan (The intensity will remain but there will be remainders that those who abuse would be held accountable and would not be tolerated),” he said.
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