Alejano to seek House probe into 'killer' cop named in Rappler report
MANILA, Philippines – Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano plans to file a resolution calling for a probe into a Manila policeman whom relatives of slain victims said was behind drug-related killings in Tondo.
"Read the story and it provides flesh to the EJK (extrajudicial killings) issue. I will file a reso for our own investigation in the House," Alejano told Rappler in a text message on Tuesday, May 2.
Alejano was asked to react to an exclusive report by Rappler, where at least 7 Tondo residents – families and friends of those slain – named PO3 Ronald Alvarez of Manila Police Station 2 as the one who killed Joshua Cumilang, Rex Aparri, Mario Rupillo, and Danilo Dacillo.
Alejano, an opposition lawmaker, already filed an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Among the grounds for impeachment cited in the complaint is Duterte's bloody war against drugs, which has led to the deaths of more than 7,000 people in legitimate police operations and apparent summary killings nationwide.
'State-inspired mass murder'
Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin, another opposition lawmaker, said Rappler's investigative report is "solid proof that state-inspired mass murder of alleged drug personalities is happening."
He also wants a probe to be conducted on the matter, but not necessarily by the House.
"A full-blown investigation by a competent and unbiased panel of investigators should be formed to look into this 'murderer in uniform' and the conspiracy to protect and promote his killings," said Villarin.
"The probe must be transparent and accountability up to the highest official be ascertained," he added.
Villarin also said the credibility of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has already been "diminished."
"The PNP as an institution is already tainted and its credibility diminished. It is high time that [Oplan] TokHang ... be exposed for what it really is – state-sanctioned mass murder," said Villarin.
PNP chief Director-General Ronald dela Rosa earlier said he will order the Manila Police District to look into the allegations.
'Do not blame government'
Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Panfilo Lacson also previously told Rappler they will be filing their own resolutions calling for an investigation against Alvarez.
For their colleague, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, the Duterte administration should not be blamed for the killings allegedly committed by the Manila policeman.
"Never naman natin sinabi na pulis [ay] 100% malinis. From the campaign [period], sinabi ng Presidente na isang part ng problema ay pulis at pulis na nasa droga," Cayetano, one of Duterte's staunchest allies, said in an interview on Tuesday.
(We never said that the police force is 100% clean. Since the campaign period, the President has been saying that corrupt policemen and cops involved in drugs are part of the problem.)
The senator said it should be investigated first why Alvarez committed such crimes, saying some policemen involved in drugs kill potential witnesses against them.
"Iba kasi kung sasabihin mo 'yung specific pulis na 'yun pumapatay dahil utos ng estado o kung siya'y pumapatay dahil into drugs siya at pinapatay niya 'yung witness against him," Cayetano said.
(It's different when you say that the specific cop kills because of state orders or because he is into drugs and he kills witnesses against him.)
"That's why I'm saying I cannot comment on [a] specific name, we have to investigate why. Pero 'yung human rights groups kasi ang dali nila i-link eh. Basta pulis may napatay, state na ang pumatay. So hindi rin tama 'yun (But human rights groups easily link it to the government. Just because a cop killed someone, they claim the murder is state-sponsored. That is not right)," he added. – with reports from Camille Elemia / Rappler.com