PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa should be more careful when warning police officers linked to the drug trade because his enemies may find a way to use his words against him, Sen. Richard Gordon said on Thursday.
Unlike President Rodrigo Duterte who enjoys immunity from suit, de la Rosa is not covered by such immunity and he cannot just say he will shoot those who are engaged in drug dealing, Gordon added.
“He must choose his statements more carefully to ensure that these do not constitute grave threat,” the senator said.
The PNP chief on Monday gave police officers who surrendered at Camp Crame after being included in Duterte’s drug list the dressing-down of their life, saying he will not allow such illegal activity to continue.
“If you’re involved in drugs, I will kill you,” de la Rosa told the police officers.
According to Gordon, he is very supportive of the PNP chief and the government’s campaign against drugs and that is why de la Rosa should be more careful and not give his enemies a chance to find a way to come up with lawsuits against him.
“Let me reiterate that we trust and applaud and support the President’s goal in saving our nation from becoming a narco-state, which most of us are most surprised to learn how close the Philippines really is to becoming a narco-state as shown by the number of drug users who have surrendered,” he said.
When asked if those who want de la Rosa out of the picture can use his earlier statements to file grave-threat complaints, Gordon replied that it can but that there are legal remedies available to dela Rosa.
The PNP chief has been receiving death threats supposedly from drug lords even before he assumed his post.
There were even reports that the drug lords already sought the help of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS to kill de la Rosa and the President.