PHILIPPINE National Police Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said the high number of fatalities in “one-time, big-time” police operations was “normal”.
“We have a vast operation with multiple targets. We have many operations. So it’s normal it would happen. We can’t let them attack us. So things like that happen.” De la Rosa said in Camp Bagong Diwa on Friday.
De la Rosa said that people should be more alarmed if drugs were flourishing in the streets and if drug pushers were not being caught. He added that people should not be alarmed if alleged drug pushers were killed for “fighting back”.
“If there are cops who are abusing their power, I won’t let that pass. They would be held accountable for their actions.” De la Rosa said.
He said that to eliminate the threat of alleged drug pushers, policemen can’t choose where to shoot their targets.
“What if you just shot the pusher in the foot and he shot you in retaliation? You’d get killed in those tactical situations.” De la Rosa said.
De la Rosa admitted that the PNP could not please everyone. He said that he didn’t care if they drew the ire of people for the killings of alleged drug pushers as long as they could “enforce the law” and address the “problem”.
A series of “one-time, big-time” operations in Bulacan, Manila and Camanava (Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela) this week has once again raised alarm bells among human rights advocates, several legislators and Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo who called on the public to express outrage over the killings.