MANILA, Philippines – If worse comes to worst, Philppine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa will ask President Rodrigo Duterte to bring them back at the helm of the war on drugs.
"Well, if things get worse and talagang hindi kakayanin so kailangan sabihin ko sa kanya siguro: ser, pabalikin niyo kami dahil kawawa naman ang pamilya natin.' Ako na ang aapela if the time comes," Dela Rosa said in an interview with CNN Philippines
(If things get worse, maybe I'll tell him: sir, bring us back because our families are suffering. I myself will ask him if the time comes.)
Two days prior, President Duterte ordered the PNP to turn over all drug operations to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), after a two-digit drop in the President's net trust and satisfaction ratings.
Earlier in the interview, Dela Rosa said he was worried that their progress would go down the drain in the future, after PDEA takes the lead in the drug war.
"Parang babalik na naman tayo sa zero. Haleluya na na naman ang mga drug pusher sa pulis, matagal silang gutom, matagal silang walang kita...Ngayon walang pulis para makialam sa kanila, eh 'di haleluya," Dela Rosa said.
(It's like we are going back to zero. Drug pushers are saying hallelujah, they were long starved and deprived of drug money. Now, there are no cops to stop them.)
The PDEA chief himself worries about them leading the war on drugs, admitting that they are severely undermanned.
Dela Rosa's statements comes from experience. When they were pulled out from the drug war the first time in January 2017, he said the PNP recorded a rise in crimes.
Dela Rosa made these pronouncements just a day after they suspended Oplan Double Barrel, the umbrella term of the PNP which pertains to all anti-illegal drugs operations.
The most popular and bloody of these is Oplan TokHang, the literal knock-and-plead operations of the PNP asking drug suspects to surrender. If suspects fight back, police have no choice, as Dela Rosa had said repeatedly before, to shoot and kill them. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.