Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa assured the police’s commitment to continuing the administration campaign in eradicating illegal drugs.
“We are ready. We are always ready,” this was dela Rosa’s response when the media asked the PNP’s readiness to take the lead the drug war again, on Sunday.
However, the PNP Chief disclosed that they should have finished some preparations before leading the campaign.
“We admit that our ranks were not totally not cleansed before we went on the war on drugs. We should have cleansed our ranks first,” he said.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte warned that if the country’s drug problem worsens, the ‘police have to enter the picture’ once more.
Earlier in October, when the President declared the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the sole agency to lead the war on drugs, dela Rosa has mentioned the same scenario.
“Pakiramdam ko when things get worse and talagang hindi kakayanin [ng PDEA], so kailangan sabihin ko sa kanya ‘Siguro Sir, pabalikin mo na kami, kawawa naman ‘yung pamilya natin’ (I think when things get worse and when PDEA cannot handle it anymore, I think I have to tell him ‘Sir, maybe you should let us come back. Spare our families,’” he said back then.
On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Senator Franklin Drilon disagreed but clarified that PNP’s return is within the budget.
“Sana huwag nang ibalik sa PNP [ang pag-head ng drug war]. Ang batas ay maliwanag naman na ang pagsugpo sa droga ay nasa PDEA (I hope PNP does not return in heading the drug war. The law is clear that the PDEA is responsible in eradicating illegal drugs),” he told DZBB.
In the same interview, he added, “Ngayon kung sumali na naman ang PNP, mayroon namang pagkukunan ng pondo kung kinakailangan (But then there is still enough budget if PNP returns).”
For Drilon, he said that he was not in favor of PNP’s return as drug war head because of the 6000-7000 killings tagging the police in their drug operations.