Angry PNP Chief to criminals:you should be dead,not our police

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—As policemen seek out suspects in the government’s war on drugs, they should be mindful of their security and make sure they come out alive of every operation for their families’ sake, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa said.

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Since President Duterte took office, several drug busts had left suspects dead after they resisted arrest and engaged lawmen in gunfights. The government’s war on drugs has alarmed the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) because of the growing number of deaths in police operations or in cases of alleged summary executions.

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“It should be the criminals who turn up dead, not us. Remember, if you die, no one from CHR will be there to feed your children, no one from CHR will send your children to school,” he said, addressing policemen. “So you better stay alive. Let cases be filed. Face the charges, but it is important that you stay alive,” said Dela Rosa, who attended the 115th police service anniversary at Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba City, Laguna province, on Wednesday.

After presiding over a command conference, Dela Rosa proceeded to the inauguration of a drug rehabilitation facility in Sta. Rosa City and attended the wake of Senior Insp. Mark Gil Garcia in Antipolo City.

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Garcia, a member of the Rizal provincial police intelligence unit, was killed in a buy-bust operation on Aug. 19 that also left two suspects dead.

“When you conduct raids, would you give them a chance to put up a fight knowing that they are armed? If they draw their guns, make sure that you kill them. Don’t allow them to kill you. Pity the children you will leave behind,” Dela Rosa said. But the PNP chief clarified that he was not encouraging the police to violate human rights.

“We have to do our job based on police procedures, according to the rule of law, because that is what they note. But no matter how much they criticize us, as long as we have evidence, what could they do?” he told policemen. He also warned scalawag policemen, who are involved in the repacking and selling of illegal drugs.

During a Senate committee hearing on the government’s antidrug campaign and extrajudicial killings this week, a witness said some policemen would bring “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) to their house in Antipolo City for her parents to repack.

“Just imagine (that) revelation by one witness at the Senate hearing. I felt like being slapped,” Dela Rosa said. He said the case involving the Antipolo policemen is being investigated.

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“Let me emphasize at this point that we are also waging the same war within the PNP to rid our ranks of personnel involved in illegal drugs,” he said.

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