Drug lords may be behind report on cops killing suspects, says PNP chief
Published: 6:18 p.m., Nov. 28, 2017 | Updated: 12:56 a.m., Nov. 29, 2017
Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), on Tuesday insinuated that drug lords could be behind the release of a Reuters news report about a group of police officers who allegedly executed three drug suspects in Tondo, Manila.
The incident occurred on Oct. 11, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte barred the PNP from taking part in his vicious drug war. It was caught on several security cameras in the area.
“What I can tell Reuters is that if you want the PNP to look bad, you can do it. You can really do it,” Director General Ronald dela Rosa told reporters before appearing at the oral arguments in the Supreme Court on the petitions questioning the legality of President Duterte’s war on drugs.
“If you want to present a very objective presentation, you can also do it. If you want to be biased in our favor, you can also do it. So they have a choice,” he said.
But Dela Rosa, one of the President’s most trusted police officials, admitted that he has yet to see the Reuters report.
“They were timing this kind of damaging reports about the PNP when (the drug war) may be reverted back to us,” he claimed, adding:
“That means our enemies really don’t want us to participate in the drug war. What are they afraid of? I don’t think they’re drug addicts.”
The country’s top PNP official said drug syndicates had been able to infiltrate various government offices and had even influenced state prosecutors and judges.
“If they react, that’s on purpose. I know they have been hurt with what we’ve done,” he said in Filipino. “They are using all their power. They will not just give up their status since they have been in the drug trade for so many years. This is a billion-peso industry.”
“As I have said before we did this, be ready for backlash because they, the drug lords, will really get back at us in any which way they can,” he said.
The Manila Police District (MPD) on Tuesday said it would investigate the drug killings in Tondo.
“We will conduct an in-depth investigation regarding the said incident but of course due process of law and presumption of regularity in the conduct of our police operational procedures will be followed,” said Supt. Edwin Margarejo, spokesperson for the MPD.
Dela Rosa said drug syndicates had been able to infiltrate various government offices and had even influenced state prosecutors and judges. –With a report from Jhoanna Ballaran /pdi