Angered by drug case debacle, Duterte punched Palace wall – Bato reveals
President Rodrigo Duterte punched a wall in Malacañang in a fit of anger over the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) dismissal of the complaints against alleged drug lords, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa bared on Friday, disputing claims that the Chief Executive knew of the ruling before it was leaked to the media.
“At anong sinasabi niyo na nagda-drama si Presidente? I tell you, noong nagalit si Presidente, tingnan niyo ‘yung kamay ni Presidente namaga. Noong nagalit siya nang malaman niya, sinuntok niya ‘yung wall ng Malacañang, namaga sa galit niya,” Dela Rosa said during the opening of the Civil Security Group’s One-Stop Shop Building at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
(And you’re saying that the President was playing out a drama? I tell you, when the President found out about it, he punched the wall in Malacañang and his hand went swollen out of anger.)
Dela Rosa admitted that he knew beforehand about the DOJ’s decision to clear Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa, and several others of drug dealing but was hesitant to inform Duterte because the Chief Executive had been thinking of many other important things.
“Pati ako, parang nabanggit ito [kaso] ni General Obusan sa akin weeks before. Hindi ko masyadong binibigyan ng weight na sabihin, kaso ito na pumutok na noon sa media,” he said.
(I think this case was relayed to me by General Obusan weeks before. I was unable to say this to the President until it came out to the press.)
“As far as I’m concerned, hindi ko masyado…kasi ang dami nang iniisip si Presidente, hindi lang itong kasong ito. As far as I’m concerned nalaman niya ito noong lumabas na sa media, noong pumutok na,” he added.
(As far as I’m concerned, I did not… because the President was preoccupied with pressing matters, not just this case. As far as I’m concerned, he only learned of this when the media broke the news.)
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on Monday the DOJ panel’s dismissal of drug complaints filed against Lim, Duterte’s kumpadre (wedding sponsor), Espinosa, and several others due to weak evidence.
The resolution also dismissed charges against convicted drug lord Peter Co, Lovely Impal, Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Jun Pepito and other personalities known only by their aliases.
The resolution was approved by Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan and issued by Assistant State Prosecutor Michael John Humarang and now-Lucena Judge Aristotle Reyes on Dec. 20, 2017.
During the Joint Command Conference of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday, Duterte had vented his ire against Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre II and told him that he would put the Cabinet official in jail if the drug lords would go scot-free.
“Pag-nakawala yan si Lim at Espinosa, sya [Aguirre] ang ipapalit ko (If Lim and Espinosa escape, I will put him [Aguirre] in jail.) I can review that dismissal order. Nag-amin na nga sa Congress! Why not admit it as evidence against him?” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque posted on social media, quoting Duterte as saying.
The resolution drew flak and widespread condemnation from the public, with critics calling the government’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs as “fake drug war.”
Dela Rosa cried foul over the criticisms.
“Para diyan sa mga nagsasabi na moro-moro itong aming war on drugs, ako po ay nagagalit sa inyo ha. Moro-moro your face,” he said.
(For those saying that our war on drugs is just a sham, I am mad at you. Comedy your face.)
“Kawawa naman ‘yung on my part, sa PNP 108 na pulis namin namatay dito, moro-moro pa? At ilang tao na ang namatay dito. Ang sama naman ng moro-moro na ‘yan, we are dealing with lives. 4,000 plus na ang namatay moro-moro pa rin?” he added.
(How about the 108 policemen killed? Many have already died. That bogus label is distasteful, we are dealing with lives. 4,000 people have died, but you still call it a comedy?)/ac
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.