Duterte: Re­assess­ment of cops’ anti-drug op­er­a­tions needed

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Nation -

WHILE main­tain­ing that his crack­down on ram­pant nar­cotics trade will be re­lent­less, Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte ad­vised re­spond­ing po­lice of­fi­cers on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 3, to re-as­sess their anti-illegal drug op­er­a­tions.

Duterte gave the ad­vice af­ter three Caloocan po­lice­men in­volved in the mur­der of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos San­tos were found guilty by a lo­cal court.

In a speech de­liv­ered at Kalayaan grounds in Mala­cañan, the Com­man­der-in Chief told cops not to “il­le­gally” kill drug per­son­al­i­ties amid the con­duct of anti-drug war.

“Kaya ang mga pulis, mga mil­i­tary, kindly re­assess the -- marami kasi of late, marami ang mga pulis nasabit. Why do you have to kill them il­le­gally?” he said dur­ing the Christ­mas tree light­ing cer­e­mony of his of­fice.

(The po­lice and mil­i­tary, kindly re-as­sess the drug war be­cause many po­lice­men are be­ing ques­tioned over the deaths of al­leged drug sus­pects. Why do you have to kill them il­le­gally?)

“You can al­ways cor­ner them, find out if they are -- or they have com­mit­ted the shabu, act of traf­fick­ing tapos nag­bi­gay-bi­gay sila diyan, pa­bili, nahuli (and they are sell­ing or buy­ing, then get caught). And if he re­sists ar­rest vi­o­lently, you are free to kill them,” he added.

To re­call, Caloocan po­lice­men killed Delos San­tos for al­legedly fight­ing back dur­ing a drug raid on Au­gust 16, 2017.

How­ever, some wit­nesses and a closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion cam­era be­lied the cops’ claim and bared that the mi­nor did not re­sist ar­rest dur­ing the anti-drug op­er­a­tion.

On Novem­ber 29, Caloocan Re­gional Trial Branch 125 sen­tenced Po­lice Of­fi­cer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, and PO1 Jer­win Cruz to 40-year im­pris­on­ment and or­dered them to pay Delos San­tos’s fam­ily a to­tal of P345,000 for civil in­dem­nity, and moral, ac­tual, and ex­em­plary dam­ages.

The Caloocan court, how­ever, found the three cops not guilty of plant­ing ev­i­dence against Delos San­tos.

Duterte re­it­er­ated that his or­der to the re­spond­ing po­lice of­fi­cers was to kill sus­pected drug per­son­al­i­ties, if “[their] life is in dan­ger in the per­for­mance of [their] duty.”

He added that the cops should eas­ily get that his direc­tive to kill was meant for “self-de­fense.”

“Sin­abi ko na­man sa pulis huwag kay­ong mag­a­buso (To the po­lice, I told you not to abuse your power). You can kill them legally. And why do you have to kill them il­le­gally?” the Pres­i­dent stressed.

“I’m re­ally at a loss of how to ex­plain to them. Sabi ko, ‘Patayin mo.’ (I said, ‘Kill them.’) But you know, they go to school two years. Ba­sic ‘yan (That’s ba­sic). And it’s founded on their brain, about self­de­fense, ful­fill­ment of duty, de­fense of rel­a­tives. Alam nila ‘yan (They know that),” he added.

De­spite this, he em­pha­sized that there will be no let-up in his fight against illegal nar­cotics sale, not­ing that drug per­son­al­i­ties en­dan­ger peo­ple’s lives.

Duterte added that he would not be swayed by hu­man rights ad­vo­cates to stop his bru­tal drug war.

“They (Drug of­fend­ers) have caused so much pain to ano (peo­ple). So give me a rea­son why I will not kill you. Kay­ong mga (To) hu­man rights, give me a good rea­son why I should not de­clare war against drug push­ers,” he said.

“But there is no let-up here just be­cause a few po­lice­men killed some­body. No. There will never be a let-up in the cam­paign against drugs and the killing will con­tinue for as long as there are peo­ple who would re­sist ar­rest and fight it out,” he added.

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