By Genalyn Kabiling
Following the killing of a suspected narco-politician, the government has pledged to pursue “to the ends of the earth” persons involved in illegal drugs and other crimes until they are brought to justice.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo warned that those who resist arrest would suffer the same fate as the slain former mayor.
Talib Abo Sr., former mayor of Parang, Maguindanao, and his brother were killed in separate anti-drug operations conducted by policemen in Cotabato City last Friday. The former mayor reportedly pulled a gun on the cops who were searching his house.
“Regardless of the the social and political status of persons involved and /or engaged in the illegal drug industry, the same fate will necessarily befall them if they resist arrest and shoot it out with the arresting officers,” Panelo said in a statement.
“The law allows lawmen to use mortal violence against those who imperil their lives in the course of a legitimate police operation or arrest,” he said in defending the Cotabato policemen.
Panelo said President Duterte’s relentless war on illegal drugs would continue pursuant to his constitutional authority to serve and protect the people.
He made clear that the government has not initiated and would never initiate drug-related killings outside the ambit of the law.
“The drug menace has struck and destroyed a generation of Filipinos and threatens the next one. It has been the cause of the commission of crimes against persons and properties. It made dysfunctional families of those who have been addicted to the prohibited drugs,” he said.
Panelo also maintained that there would be “no sacred cows” as the administration pursues its anti-crime drive.
“The government will pursue to the ends of the earth those who kill without justifying and exempting circumstances as provided by law until they are put behind bars,” he said.
“Those who disobey or violate the law will pay the price for their crimes or transgressions,” he added.
He said the President would employ “any means, unconventional or not but constitutionally allowed, to enforce the law.”
“The President shall fulfill his constitutional mandate until the end of his term,” he added.