President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday admitted that the police anti-drug operation that killed 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos “was really bad.”
“I’m not justifying the Caloocan (anti-drug operations). It was really bad. Hindi naman performance of duty yung ganoon (It can’t be considered in performance of duty). Do not commit a crime,” Duterte said in his speech during the inauguration of Solar Philippines Factory in Batangas.
“I never promised to protect those who are supposedly doing their duty but committing a crime in the process,” he added.
He reiterated that his order to the police was to “neutralize” criminals who resist arrest.
“My order was to destroy, and if to “destroy” the police and the military would kill you, that is your problem, that is not mine. But what I reminded again the military and the police is that it should be in the performance of duty. That you are not allowed to kill a person who is kneeling down, begging for his life, that is murder,” Duterte said.
Despite the furor raised by the teenager’s death, the President said he will not change his policy on the war on illegal drugs.
“There will be war against drugs. I have a sworn duty to protect the people and defend the republic,” Duterte said. “I will go after drugs because it is destroying the country. If I do not get rid of the drug problem, I will compromise the next generation.” CATHERINE S. VALENTE