President Rodrigo Duterte came on the defense of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and took a swipe anew against critics who say the police have a “policy” to kill innocent civilians and drug suspects.
In a media interview, Duterte said PNP Chief General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa cried foul during a senate inquiry because he was offended over claims that the deaths of two teenagers in police operations mean the body is pursuing a “policy” to kill drug suspects and civilians.
“No. I think he’s hurt . Do you think two killings, even if it’s illegal, would make a policy?… Kaya umiyak yung tao nga eh. [That’s why he cried]. It’s an insult na sabihin it’s a policy of the police to kill [it is an insult to say that it is a police policy to kill],” Duterte said.
During the Tuesday’s senate investigation, Dela Rosa cried after Senator Risa Hontiveros said there is a “system to the killings” and “policy dictating the culture of killings in the country” following the deaths of teenagers Kian Loyd Delos Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz.
The president slammed Hontiveros, calling her “stupid” for saying that two deaths are tantamount to make a policy.
“Dalawang patay [Two were dead]. Palagay na natin, pinatay — murder o [Assuming they were murdered]… I asked Hontiveros, “Is that already a policy? Is that the baseline of a policy?” Paka-bobo naman niya [She is so stupid],” Duterte said.
He also accused the lady senator of politicking and asked why she has turned a blind eye and kept mum when five members of a family in Bulacan was massacred.
“Bakit ba? Yung limang pinatay doon sa Bulacan, na pati „yung one-year-old na bata pinakialaman, pinatay [Why? The five including a one-year-old who were raped and massacred in Bulacan]. Why is that… Why don’t I hear… I do not hear her crying or even complaining that the police are not doing enough,” Duterte said.
“Tapos… Eleksyon eh. Politika [Then, it was election. Politics] They’re crazily into it. And even before the elections, may assignment yan siya [she has an assignment]. She was assigned with a group, I would not name them now. But, nakuha ko yang mga conversations nila [i already got their conversations],” he added.
The president also ordered the the PNP to continue serving their mandate of confronting criminals and asked the members of the media to observe police operations.
“Now, this is an order: Bring the media at paunahin mo sila [let them lead] so that they can get the story from the beginning to the end… Do not make raids now without the media. Pero [But] , see to it that it is — if it’s a camera, if there’s a reporter, see to it that they are there in the beginning up to the end,” Duterte said.
The president also directed the police to continue their challenge criminals in the performance of their duty and overcome resistance if there is a ‘serious violent’ confrontation.
“Continue with your work. Confront the criminals in the performance of your duty then make the arrest and if there is a serious violent resistance, overcome that resistance. Why? Because you have to bring him to the court or bring him to the police station. You have to overcome otherwise there is no arrest kapag sinabi mo [if you tell] you are under arrest,” Duterte added.