WITH the impending transfer of the enforcement of the drug campaign back to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Chief Supt. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa vowed that this time, his men would go “full speed” but exercise “caution” in conducting operations.
“We would be in full speed. I don’t care who would be run over, but we would be in full speed with caution,” de la Rosa said in a speech during the flag ceremony at the Camp Crame national headquarters in Quezon City on Monday.
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday last week that he was considering the possible return of the PNP in the driver’s seat of the government’s war against illegal drugs.
“As of now, just to parry, nilagay ko sa (I gave it to) PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency). Whether I like it or not, I have to return that power to the police because surely it will increase the activity [drugs],” Duterte said in a speech before government troops.
“Let’s avoid the humps, bumps, and barricades. So that the car won’t have scratches,” de la Rosa said on the planned return of the PNP to the war on drugs.
De la Rosa said that after the drug campaign was transferred to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) amid accusations that police were responsible for the spate of extrajudicial killings, the PNP leadership conducted an internal cleansing of the force that has, so far, been “working.”
Citing PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) data, de la Rosa said the number of reported police scalawags have decreased from “hundreds” to “10” a day.
De la Rosa said the scalawags shifted to kidnap-for-ransom now that the drug business was “declining”.
“Now that they are out of the drug business, kidnapping is now their racket,” de la Rosa said.
Last October 2016, South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was abducted, along with his househelp, from his home in Angeles City, Pampanga by armed men allegedly pretending to be carrying out an anti-drug operation.
The businessman was strangled inside the PNP headquarters on the same day he was kidnapped. RJ CARBONELL