The involvement of policemen in the abduction and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo has made people fear the police as much as drug addicts, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo said on Friday.
The incident, Robredo said, should prompt Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to cleanse the institution of the scalawags who killed Jee.
Jee was snatched by police officers from his home in Angeles City, Pampanga and was strangled to death inside Camp Crame, the PNP Headquarters.
“A lot of people are asking, who do you fear more, drug addicts or the police? It really sounds bad, it is hard to take in because incidents like these taint the rest of the good members of the institution,” Robredo said.
“Of course, there should be command responsibility, but the solution in the long term is for those who committed the crime to be made liable so the public can trust the police again. You can’t just reassign a policeman the moment he faces charges. You can’t just dismiss the erring police and stop there. There should be criminal liability. Until this is addressed, the public won’t trust the institution,” she added.
Malacañang on Friday reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte will not tolerate erring policemen.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte “will deal severely” with errant members of the police force.
“He [Duterte] continues to protect their efforts, assuming regularity. But it’s running on parallel tracks and the President has said he will deal severely with those who are found to be guilty. So let us see how it proceeds,” Abella said in a news press conference.
Abella said Duterte “definitely will back up police operations” but added that the President would also allow the due process.
“He’s pursuing a two track thing– one is he supports the police operations and secondly, he will also not allow those who are rogue to go undealt with,” he said.