MANILA, Philippines – Around 100 "errant" police were brought to Malacañang's driveway to receive a scolding from President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, August 7.
"Wala kayong silbi sa akin. Salot kayo sa lipunan (You are useless to me. You are a scourge to society)," said the President in a stern tone as he faced the cops lined up by the Palace's old balete tree.
This is the second time in his presidency that Duterte summoned supposedly errant policemen so he could admonish them in the presence of media.
He did the same thing in February 2017 when he gave some 200 "errant and scalawag" cops a dressing down.
Metro Manila police chief Guillermo Eleazar said some of the cops present, including 3 from Taguig City, were taken out of jail just so they could be at Malacañang for the event.
"Mayroon kasi iba doon nakakulong, kinuha lang natin. Kagaya sa Taguig, 'yung tatlo (Some of them were imprisoned, we just took them for today. Like the ones in Taguig, those 3)," Eleazar told reporters.
Asked what would become of these cops after appearing before Duterte, he said, "Wala lang, ibabalik na doon (Nothing, they will be brought back)."
He said the cops presented to Duterte were accused of robbery, extortion, serious illegal detention, kidnapping, rape, going AWOL (absent without official leave), serious neglect of duty, and grave misconduct.
Most of them came from his own office, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO). The others hail from Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
Duterte spent most of his speech cursing the cops and warning them against abusing their power. He threatened to kill them.
"'Pag ganoon kayo nang ganoon, putang ina, papatayin ko talaga kayo (If you keep doing that, son of a bitch, I'll really kill you)," said the President.
He also said he would "review" their cases. Those who were involved with drug or crime syndicates would supposedly be watched over by a "special unit."
"Kayong mga may kasalanan na sindikato sa droga, sindikato sa korupsiyon, mayroon akong special unit. Habangbuhay bantayan kayo at 'pag nagkamali kayo nang kaunti, sabihin ko patayin kayo," said Duterte.
(You guilty of being part of drug, corruption syndicates, I have a special unit. You will be monitored for life and if you make one small mistake, I will tell them to kill you.)
He also said the cops should be thankful there are other officials present or else he would have "slapped" them.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.