CORRUPT members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are drawn to making money out of illegal activities to support their mistresses, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed.
Duterte expressed his sentiments when pressed by reporters to elaborate on his remark last January 30 that “about 40 percent” of the police force is “corrupt to the core.”
“Not everyone is corrupt, but there is a group of these stupid scalawags there. As soon as they become a police [officer], they want a house and a car, then two wives,” Duterte told reporters in Davao City on Saturday.
“Me, I’m separated from my wife and I had a wife again. But these police who are morons, they add wives even if they don’t earn enough. So they resort to racketeering. And so, police generals have mansions when they retire. But the Army? They end up in housing projects.”
Duterte was formerly married to Elizabeth Zimmerman, who sought a civil court annulment in 1998. The President lives with his partner, Honeylet Avanceña, in Davao City, but is officially single.
‘I believe that story’
Duterte has vowed to rid the PNP ranks of scalawags in the aftermath of the police killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.
Jee was kidnapped by the police last October on a fake arrest warrant for alleged involvement in illegal drugs. It was later revealed by witnesses that the South Korean businessman was strangled to death by Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Santa Isabel inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, a few steps from the office of PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa.
Jee’s remains were cremated and his ashes flushed down the toilet.
While he conceded that rogue PNP men were responsible for Jee’s death, Duterte stood firm that the police was right in gunning down Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
Espinosa, one of hundreds of drug suspects killed in the Duterte administration’s anti-drug war, was shot by the police at 4 a.m. inside his cell in the Leyte sub-provincial jail in Baybay City on November 5.
“Drug industry is an organization which involves the rich and the poor, like this Albuera mayor. When he was gunned down, a lot of people still complained. The police said he fought back, and I believe that story,” Duterte stressed.
“I will have to support our security forces whenever they run into trouble when they are performing their duties. If you have a different story, then insist on it but I will believe the government [forces],” Duterte added.
NBI chief stays
In a related development, the Palace said it would not yet ask for the resignation of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran, even if the President said he had lost trust in the agency because of its alleged involvement in the murder of Jee. Both the PNP and NBI have been barred from anti-drug operations.
“We’ll leave that decision to the President because the President has personally appointed Director Gierran. However, it’s not really about, you know, castigating right away or removing right away the appointed officials whom he has appointed,” Assistant Secretary Ana Banaag of the Presidential Communications Office said in a radio interview.