Bato respects court’s decision but ‘sticking to police version’ of drug raid
Despite “respecting” the acquittal of the lone survivor of a deadly antidrug operation in Quezon City (QC), Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he would stick with the QC cops’ version of the story.
Last Nov. 17, the QC Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 41 acquitted Harold Arevalo, who was accused of fighting back at members of the QC Police District’s Station 6 or Batasan station during a drug bust on August 15, 2016 in Barangay Payatas.
Judge Analie Oga-Brual said the prosecution failed to support the charge of direct assault that Police Officers 2 Wilson Escuro and Herbert Angoluan filed against Arevalo.
The decision also pointed out that the prosecution “failed to positively show that Arevalo traded shots with the policemen who had killed his friends in a buybust operation.”
Reacting to the court decision, Dela Rosa, in an ambush interview on Wednesday, said: “We respect the decision of the court.”
“We have to stick with the version of the police,” he added.
Asked if Arevalo’s acquittal may prove that police’s “nanlaban” claims against suspected drug users were lies, the PNP chief said: “‘Di naman ganun kagago ang korte na ila-lump nila lahat ng kaso (The court isn’t stupid to lump together all the cases).”
“They will treat each case separately,” he added. /je
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