PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Supt. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said on Monday that the police supported the EDSA prayer rally against extrajudicial killings on Sunday.
“If they are searching for justice, we are also searching for justice,” de la Rosa said in a press briefing in Camp Crame.
However, de la Rosa said that the so-called “extrajudicial” killings would have to be investigated first.
“We need to investigate if it is indeed [extrajudicial killings]they are claiming,” de la Rosa said.
De la Rosa said police were “God-fearing” people who were working for justice and peace. He said that if they were not, they would have left the police force a long time ago.
“Maybe they are assuming that they are on the ‘good side’ and PNP is the demon. They think of the police as Satan. That’s a very bad depiction of the situation,” de la Rosa said, regarding the “Heal Our Land” protesters in EDSA.
De la Rosa said police would only kill alleged criminals if necessary. He said police should also protect themselves from criminal suspects who, he claimed, have “fought back”.
“We kill people if it is necessary to kill to preserve and defend ourselves. Otherwise, we would be the ones killed,” de la Rosa said.
De la Rosa hit back at Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas who called for an end to the government’s alleged impunity.
In his homily during a mass at the EDSA Shrine on Sunday, Villegas said: “No government lasts forever. Only God lasts forever.”
De la Rosa countered: “If you are a cop who commits crime, you’d be held accountable by the Lord. If you are a priest who fabricates lies, you’d also be held accountable even if you are a priest.” RJ CARBONELL