No kid glove treatment of cops in drug war killings–Roque

Published October 21, 2021, 4:42 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The Duterte administration has not been “soft” in its treatment of law enforcers who are allegedly involved in the killing of illegal drug suspects, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (Screenshot from Facebook live)

“On the contrary po ‘no, iyong desisyon ng DOJ (Department of Justice) proves na we are not soft kasi nga po kakasuhan [garbled] po iyan (the DOJ’s decision proves that we are not soft because they will be charged),” Roque said in response to a reporter’s query during a virtual press conference Thursday, Oct. 21.

“Ang ibig sabihin noong sinabi ni [DOJ] Secretary [Menardo] Guevarra na ni-refer nila for NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) for case-building. Siyempre po kung kakasuhan, dapat matibay ang ebidensiya (What Secretary Guevarra meant then was they will refer it to the NBI for case-building. Of course, you need strong evidence if you’re going to file cases),” said Roque, who like Guevarra is a lawyer.

The spokesperson was asked to respond to human rights advocates claims that the current administration has been soft or lenient on law enforcers such as police, who President Duterte openly defended time and again in connection with the conduct of the bloody war on drugs.

The DOJ had earlier recommended to the NBI the conduct of case build-up against a total of154 police officers involved in the 52 anti-drug operations for possible criminal charges.

The Justice department had released the information on the 52 cases as a way to tell the families of the 52 slain drug suspects that the NBI was building cases against the involved cops.

“So hindi na po siguro kinakailangan magkaroon pa ng bagong demand na mag-examine dahil patuloy po ang gagawin ng DOJ–rerepasuhin po natin at iisa-isahin itong mga kasong ito (So there is no need for another demand to examine the drug cases because the DOJ will continue its work–they will examine the cases and look into them one by one),” Roque said.

The Palace spokesperson had earlier praised the DOJ for its release of the information or the case details of the drug war fatalities

“I can only commend the DOJ for this conclusion because this proves that the President has not been remiss in his obligation to investigate perpetrators of these crimes,” Roque said.