MANILA — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, September 18, paid his last respects to a policeman killed in an anti-illegal drug operation in Caloocan.
President Duterte personally extended his condolences to the family of Police Officer 3 (PO3) Junior Hilario whose remains lie in state at the Neo Vista Subdivision in Bagumbong, North Caloocan.
Hilario, who was posthumously promoted to Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1), was shot in the head during an operation in Caloocan, which also resulted in the death of drug suspect Jason dela Cruz, also known as Jason Killer. Police recovered a .45 caliber pistol, three sachets of shabu and other drug paraphernalia during the operation.
The Chief Executive posthumously awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the medal of Kalasag to the fallen cop.
Duterte placed the medal on top of the coffin of Hilario and gave him a salute. He later pinned the medal to the six-year-old son of Hilario, Jun. The President also gave cash assistance to the family of the slain policeman.
Department of Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy and Caloocan City government officials were also present during the President’s visit.
Speaking to reporters after his visit, Duterte said he intends to suspend government work and classes on September 21, which marks the declaration of martial law. He said that the day will not be a holiday but he will declare it as a “national day of protest.”
“Lahat ng gustong mag-protesta laban sa gobyerno, laban sa pulis, sa military o lahat, magbabaan kayo diyan,” he said.
He assured the safety of the protesters but appealed to them not to resort to vandalism and violent crimes. He likewise urged the communist rebels to join the protest saying that he will not order for their arrest.
On the rescue of Father Chito Soganub, the President expressed willingness to meet the priest, who was held hostage by the ISIS-linked Maute group in Marawi for almost four months.
Duterte said he is interested to know about the supposed incident of rape committed by the Maute rebels to their women captives.
“That’s a gross violation of the rights of a human being, affront of the dignity of the women ng Pilipinas,” he said.
He explained that Soganub was liberated through a special operation conducted by the military and not via any backdoor negotiation.
“No. Impossible, impossible. I will not even agree to look at them. I said, naintindihan niyo ako noon pa? This will not end until the last terrorist is taken out. And that is my order to the Armed Forces pati to the Police. Hanggang ‘yung katapusang tao doon na masama,” he stressed.
On the issue of PHP1,000 budget allotted for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the President prodded the House of Representatives to just allot the budget to his office if the lawmakers will decide to push through with the budget cut.
He said he would allot the money to buy cameras for the Philippine National Police to be used in their anti-drug operation. He will also use the funding to buy new firearms and vehicles for the military and police.
He added that it would be better if the United Nations would put up a satellite office in the country than continue the operation of the local CHR.
“Sabihin ko na lang sa House of Representatives, I will personally through an official channel, invite the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations to set up a satellite office here,” he said. (PND/PNA)