Why Dela Rosa didn’t get Robredo's letter to PNP
A day after he told reporters repeatedly that he “honestly” did not read a letter from the Office of the Vice President (OVP) requesting for data on the war on drugs, national police chief Ronald dela Rosa said that while a copy of the letter was officially received by his office, it never reached his desk.
“Wala akong nabasang sulat galing sa kanya. Kasi yung letter (I was not able to read a letter coming from her. Because the letter was), addressed to Secretary [Ismael] Sueno of DILG,” Dela Rosa said on Tuesday, March 21, in a press conference.
Dela Rosa explained that when the letter reached his office in Camp Crame, it was sent back to Sueno’s office at the PNP national headquarters simply because an office staff member saw it addressed to the interior secretary.
“Hindi inilagay sa table ko para mabasa ko. Di niya nakita yung maliit na nakasulat: CC Chief PNP (It wasn’t placed on my table to read. They didn’t see that I was cc-ed in the letter),” he explained.
The letter – and its existence – is a side story to a recent controversy involving Vice President Leni Robredo and the current administration.
In a video message taped for a United Nations meeting on extrajudicial killings, Robredo noted public concern over the spate of killings in the Philippines linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s popular but controversial “war on drugs.”
The Vice President in the video spoke of a supposed “palit-ulo (target switching)” scheme wherein cops would nab relatives of drug suspects if they were nowhere to be found. Duterte’s allies have criticized the video, which was taped weeks ago, with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez claiming it could be the basis of a impeachment complaint against Robredo.
Robredo’s camp has insisted the Vice President’s message was both critical and factual. Her spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez, said the OVP even asked the PNP through the interior department for information about the drug war because many poor families – often targets of police operations – had voiced their concerns and sought their help.
“Humingi siya ng list para masagot niya ang concerns na nire-raise sa kanya ng taumbayan na nakausap niya. That's it. Humingi lang siya ng list pero she didn't ask for explanation or clarification about the palit-ulo scheme,” said Dela Rosa of Robredo’s request.
(They asked for a list so they could answer the concerns raised by Filipinos they spoke to. That’s it. They asked for a list but they didn’t ask for an explanation or clarification about the target switching scheme.)
In a letter sent to the offices of both Sueno and Dela Rosa back in late January, Robredo requested for the following:
- Command Memorandum Circular No. 2016-16 establishing Operation Double Barrel issued by Dela Rosa on July 1, 2016
- The latest report on police operations relating to Operation Double Barrel
- A list of suspected drug personalities killed in police operations since the implementation of Operation Double Barrel
- A list of deaths under investigation since the implementation of Operation Double Barrel
- A list of deaths in cases where investigation has concluded since the implementation of Operation Double Barrel
Dela Rosa said the request from the OVP was forwarded to the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), which compiles and makes sense of data from all over the PNP. The DIDM, in turn, apparently forwarded the info to the interior department.
The PNP chief, however, did not say if the office of Sueno was able to relay the information to the Vice President’s office. – Rappler.com
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