MANILA, Philippines – "Tingnan 'nyo. 'Yun bang si Parojinog small-time 'yun? 'Yun bang si Kerwin Espinosa, small-time ba 'yan?" (Look. Is Parojinog small-time? Is Kerwin Espinosa small-time?)
This was the response of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Tuesday, December 12, when asked about the PNP's supposed penchant for ignoring big-time drug lords.
It was Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio who recently raised this concern during oral arguments on the drug war.
According to Dela Rosa, they have achieved so much in their drug war, not just against drug suspects in the streets, but also against the rich and powerful.
"'Yung mga mayor, small-time ba 'yun? Bakit niya masasabi na doon kami nag-concentrate, sa small-time [suspects]? 'Yung mga Chinese traffickers na napatay, small-time ba 'yun?" the PNP chief added.
(Are the mayors small-time? Why did he say that we were focusing on small-time suspects? The Chinese traffickers killed, are they small-time?)
Dela Rosa was not immediately able to reply to Carpio last week during the SC oral arguments, as the PNP chief was attending an anti-terrorism conference in New York City. (READ: Dela Rosa no-show in Supreme Court EJK hearing)
In response to Carpio's question on how the PNP is addressing drug lords based in China, Dela Rosa said, "It's a work in progress."
"'Wag tayo masyadong mawalan ng pag-asa because meron namang ginagawa (Let's not lose hope because something is being done)," he said.