Updated 10:29 AM PHT Wed, September 6, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — President Rodrigo Duterte defended the national police anew on Tuesday, after their chief cried foul over claims that government is pursuing a “policy” to kill drug suspects.
“Kaya umiyak ‘yung tao nga eh. It’s an insult na sabihin it’s a policy of the police to kill,” Duterte said. He spoke to reporters after attending the 55th anniversary of Metrobank in Taguig,
[Translation: It’s an insult to say it is a policy of the police to kill. That was why he cried.]
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa cried during Tuesday’s Senate investigation on the deaths of two teenagers in police operations, after Senator Risa Hontiveros said there is a “system to the killings.”
Bring media along to police operations
Duterte suggested that police bring the members of the media along during their operations to see what happens.
“Paunahin mo sila so that they can get the story from the beginning to the end. Kasi kung papasukin lang at tapos na ang barilan, sabi naman niyo, ‘Ah, tinapunan lang ‘yan ng baril diyan,‘” Duterte said.
[Translation: Allow the media to go in first so they can get the story from the beginning to the end. If you ask them to go in after the exchange of gunfire, they are going to accuse you of planting guns.]
Earlier during the hearing, Dela Rosa denied once again that it was a state policy to kill drug suspects. However, he said the deaths of a few suspects are expected. This, after Senator Hontiveros told the PNP chief that she was asking accountability from the President.
Duterte criticized Senator Hontiveros, saying two deaths did not make a policy.
“Dalawang patay. Palagay na natin, pinatay, murder o.. I asked Hontiveros, ‘Is that already a policy? Is that the baseline of a policy?’ Paka-bobo naman niya,” Duterte said.
[Translation: Two were dead. Let’s assume they were killed, or murdered. I asked Hontiveros, ‘Is that already a policy? Is that the baseline of a policy?’ She’s so stupid.]
On August 16, Kian Delos Santos, 17, was killed by Caloocan police after he allegedly fired at them. Two days later, 19-year old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, who allegedly robbed a taxi driver, suffered the same fate. He was killed after a shootout with Caloocan police officers. Police said Arnaiz had in his possession packets of shabu (methamphetamine).
The President then accused the senator of politicking, and asked why there was no reaction from her when a family was massacred in Bulacan.
“‘Yung limang pinatay doon sa Bulacan, na pati ‘yung one-year-old na bata pinakialaman, pinatay … Why don’t I hear, I do not hear her crying or even complaining that the police are not doing enough,” Duterte said. “Ang problema sa inyo, ‘yung pinapakialaman niyo, ‘yung patayan, ‘yung magamit ninyo sa politika.”
[Translation: The family who was massacred in Bulacan, including the 1-year-old who was raped and murdered. Why don’t I hear, I do not hear her complaining that the police are not doing enough. They only meddle with issues and killings they can use in politics.]
In late June, a security guard went home to find his wife, mother-in-law, and three children aged 11, seven, and five stabbed to death. Carmelino Ibañes, a 26-year-old construction worker, admitted to the crime, saying he was under the influence of drugs when it happened.
According to government data from July 1, 2016 to August 29, 2017, over 3,800 drug suspects have been killed in police anti-drug operations. Meanwhile, 76 law enforcers have died while on duty.
CNN Philippines’ Yvette Morales and Patricia Garcia contributed to this report.