By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has defended President Duterte against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s supposed remarks in a United Nations (UN)-led anti-illegal drugs meeting that there is a state-sanctioned killing in the guise of the government’s war on drugs.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said experts who attended the 61st annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Vienna, Austria earlier this week should consider the “facts” presented by Trillanes while condemning the anti-illegal drugs campaign.
“Well, tignan ko kung hanggang saan ang pagtanggap ng mga tao doon kapag nalaman nila ‘yung pine-present ni Trillanes at maniwala sila without the benefit of finding the real truth dito sa Pilipinas (Well, I’ll observe how far are they going to believe Trillanes without the benefit of finding the real truth here in the Philippines),” Dela Rosa said.
Trillanes reportedly condemned Duterte’s obsession on the war on drugs which has resulted in thousands of deaths of suspected meth users and pushers. He also reportedly said that only poor suspects were killed and were not given a chance to be rehabilitated.
This, Trillanes was quoted as saying, was contrary to the cases of rich suspects who were cleared by the justice department because they are “compadres” of Duterte.
Suspected drug lord Peter Lim, said to be a co-sponsor of Duterte in a wedding in Cebu province in 2016, was cleared by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in an illegal drug charge along with self-confessed drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. and more than 20 others.
“Kung ako lang si Senator Trillanes at kung pwede ko lang sabihin sa publiko yung poot at galit ni Presidente dyan sa mga sinasabi niyang kumpare, it’s unethical na sabihin ko rito (If only I were Senator Trillanes and if only I can say to the public how mad and angry President [Duterte] is against those he was calling compadres [but] it’s unethical if I do it),” Dela Rosa said.
“Hindi kumpare ng presidente ‘yan! Everybody wants to be his kumpare at hindi niya alam na kung sinu-sino nag-imbita sa kanya, nagpa-picture ([Lim] is not a compadre of President [Duterte]! (Everybody wants to be his ‘compadre’ and he no longer can recall who are inviting him to be one, who are taking pictures with him),” he added while apparently referring to the photo which surfaced in 2016 where Lim and Duterte were seen in a wedding in Lapu-Lapu City.
The PNP chief also said it does not automatically mean that if a person has a picture with a drug lord, he is already a protector of illegal drug activities.
“Parang sa akin, sigurado ka ba na walang kidnap-for-ransom, walang holdaper na nagpa-picture sa akin? But it doesn’t mean na kung kumpare mo ‘yan, protektor ka na ng illegal activities (Like in my case, are you sure that there are no kidnap-for-ransom [suspects] or holdup [suspects] that took their pictures with me? But it doesn’t mean if one is a ‘compadre’ [of a suspected drug personality], you are already a protector of illegal activities),” he explained.
Dela Rosa further stated that if he only knew who among his ‘compadres’ are into illegal drug activities, he will be the one to shoot them dead or arrest them.