President reassures cops: ‘I will protect you’

Posted on August 10, 2017

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte on Wednesday said there will be no letup in his brutal war on drugs and vowed to protect cops carrying out the bloody campaign that has drawn the attention of human rights watchdogs at home and abroad.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte offered a P2-million reward for each policeman caught and proven to be involved in the burying of bodies in Ozamiz City. A compound in the city was allegedly used as dumping ground for the remains of the competitors of the Parojinog family in the narcotics business. “P2 million per head, dead or alive. Better dead,” Mr. Duterte said at the 116th police service anniversary on Aug. 9. -- PHILIPPINE STAR_KJROSALES
“And I tell you now: Do your duty and I will protect you. Do not abuse, do not commit crime, not the extrajudicial killing pictured by the human rights,” Mr. Duterte said in his speech during the 116th police service anniversary in Camp Crame.

“But I would tell everybody: No matter what it takes, there are always consequences. Me, if there is a shoot-out, if they offer the slightest violent resistance, if you have to shoot them, shoot them in the head,” he added.

According to police data, more than 2,000 people have been killed in drug-related crimes. Human rights watchers said many fatalities could be extrajudicial killings committed by cops and vigilantes. But Mr. Duterte has insisted that police are only killing in self-defense while gangsters are silencing potential witnesses.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Ronald M. dela Rosa, meanwhile, lauded the police for remaining “steadfast against the challenges to the service,” which he said led to a significant decrease in crimes over the past year.

Mr. Dela Rosa said the PNP “has won countless victories against crime and lawlessness” and has “learned its lessons well from setbacks and defeats.”

The PNP chief reported that from July 2016 to June 2017, the index crime volume decreased by 26.78% from the same period a year ago.

However, murder and homicide cases rose by 27.38% and 4.62%, respectively. Mr. Dela Rosa said that these increases “can be attributed to the sustained operations against illegal drugs.” -- Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral and Jil Danielle M. Caro