MANILA, Philippines – After the deaths of 3 teenagers sparked public outrage, President Rodrigo Duterte told Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to look into what he believed to be efforts to “sabotage” his government’s drug war.
“Better, nandito si PNP Chief. Silipin mong mabuti kasi sinasabotahe kayo (Take a look into this because you are being sabotaged),” Duterte said during the anniversary of Digos in Davao del Sur attended by Dela Rosa, on Friday, September 8.
The President reiterated that police would not wrap the head of a suspect in packing tape, as was the case with 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman. The corpse of the Grade 5 student, found over 100 kilometers from where he was last spotted, had 30 stab wounds.
“Sinasadya talaga ‘yan. Alam mo ang pulis, magbaril ‘yan, if at all, o sabihin mo extrajudi(cial) – pero hindi nagabalot ng [ulo ng suspect] – that is not the job of the police to – kalokohan,” he said.
(That’s intentional. You know the police, if they shoot, if at all you can say it’s extrajudicial but they wouldn’t wrap [a suspect’s head] – that is not the job of the police – nonsense.)
The President emphasized that he would never order the police to make summary executions.
“Sabi ko, silipin mo, kasi hindi natin trabaho ‘yan. At alam mo naman, hindi ako pumapayag ng ganoon. ‘Di ako pumapayag niyan kasi bawal sa batas ‘yan (I said, look into it, because that’s not our job. And you know I would never agree to that because it’s against the law),” he said.
The deaths of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, and 14-year-old De Guzman have fueled criticism of Duterte’s drug war, his constant threats to kill drug suspects, and promises of protection for police who implement the campaign. (READ: DSWD: Stop killing children)
Since then, he has toned down his rhetoric and gone on defense mode, giving assurances to the public that abusive police personnel will go to jail. He has also said he does not condone the killing of youths.
Delos Santos and Arnaiz where killed just days apart in operations of Caloocan police who claimed that the teenagers were shot dead because they tried to fight back. This was disputed by government forensic experts.
De Guzman was last seen with Arnaiz but was found dead 19 days later, in Gapan City in Nueva Ecija. – Rappler.com