Bato to Kerwin: We’ll still run after you
After a Department of Justice (DOJ) panel controversially dismissed the drug complaint against suspected drug lords due to weak evidence, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa gave on Monday a stern warning to self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa: police would still run after you.
“Naisahan talaga kami. Ikaw, Kerwin, naisahan mo kami ngayon ha. You cannot [fool] us all the time. Sometimes we will be the one to [fool] you,” Dela Rosa said in a press briefing.
(We really were fooled. You, Kerwin, you fooled us this time. You cannot fool us all the time. But someday, we will be the one to fool you.)
It was unclear, however, how they would come after Espinosa, who is currently at the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
According to Dela Rosa, after Espinosa admitted before the Senate that he was into drug trading, the self-confessed drug dealer had refused to give his affidavit to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
“Noong nailipat na siya doon sa NBI, wala na, ayaw na magbigay ng statement. Tumigas na ulo,” he said.
(When he was transferred to the NBI custody, he no longer wanted to issue a statement. He would not cooperate. What do want me to do with him?)
“Ano gusto niyo gawin ko sa kanya? Ipa-barang ko siya? Hindi ako ma-charge ng EJK [extrajudicial killing] niyan,” he added.
(What do you want me to do with him? You want me to hex him? I would not be charged with EJK with that.)
Dela Rosa admitted members of the PNP were frustrated and demoralized because of the dismissal of the CIDG complaint against Espinosa, alleged drug lord Peter Lim, and several others.
“Sino bang masaya? Malungkot nga ‘yung ordinaryong tao na nanonood lang sa TV na inaamin ni Kerwin Espinosa na isang drug lord, kami pa kaya na naglel-abor diyan?” he said.
(Who is happy with what happened? The ordinary people were frustrated as they watched Kerwin Espinosa admitted that he was a drug lord, how much more the PNP who work hard on that case?)
“Araw-gabi walang tulog ‘yung imbestigador ko, ‘yung mga operatives ko para mangalap ebidensiya, masaya kami? Hindi kami masaya,” he added.
(My investigators, my operatives have been working day and night; lose sleep just to get evidence. Are we happy? No we’re not happy.)
In December, the DOJ panel of prosecutors dismissed the CIDG complaint against the suspected drug lords purportedly due to weak evidence.
Dela Rosa said the DOJ should have had given them a heads up that the case would be dismissed, noting they were bound by their conscience to do it because it was a crucial part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.
He noted that the dismissal would serve as an “eye-opener” for the PNP to improve on its investigation skills. /kga
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