PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald de la Rosa burst into tears on Monday as he narrated the situation and wishes of the Special Action Force (SAF) commandos deployed in Marawi City to fight the militant Maute Group.
At the flag-raising ceremony at Camp Crame in Quezon City, De la Rosa lamented that the police commandos, along with military officers, shed “blood” while fighting the militants.
“Imagine our comrades in Marawi, a mixture of blood, sweat and anything that can be released from their bodies while fighting. How I wish everyone of us here in [Metro Manila], especially those scalawag who only think about money, would think hard about this,” an emotional De la Rosa said.
Based on the latest death toll of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, four policemen were killed by members of the Maute Group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).
“Let us pray for our comrades in Marawi, that they will be safe and will not undergo any further suffering. We know that their situation there is not easy. When you are in a war, you are just there waiting for what will happen to you,” the police chief said.
“Let’s give them our full support, not in terms of moral support, but also in our prayers. Let us hope that the casualties in Marawi will not increase and the clearing operations would hasten for the sake of our policemen and military men, as well as the citizens in Marawi,” he said.
As he and President Rodrigo Duterte visited wounded policemen in Lanao del Sur over the weekend, some policemen asked De la Rosa that they be transferred to an assignment near their families.
He cited the case of a wounded policeman recuperating in a hospital.
“He had a severe wound on his back and on his neck and was also having a hard time breathing. When I approached, all he could say to me was his request to be assigned near his family,” De la Rosa said. “I want to tell him to go home already and I will be the one to fight [the Maute]. I want to fight for them. I can see through their faces the hardship they have gone through.”
In a news conference after his speech, De la Rosa told reporters in jest that he could not deploy “scalawag” policemen to Marawi since most of them are detained.
“While the erring policemen are enjoying the fruits of their criminal labor, the police officers in Marawi are engaged in a bloody war with the Maute. That was just my way of expressing my frustration over these scalawag. I am comparing their lives here [in Metro Manila]wherein all they could think about is money whereas our policemen in Marawi are fighting for their survival and with their lives against the Maute,” dela Rosa said. DEMPSEY REYES