MANILA, Philippines – Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church founder Brother Eddie Villanueva said he does not believe that most drug suspects killed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) fought back ("nanlaban") or resisted arrest.
"Honestly speaking, I'm very sorry. I beg to disagree," Villanueva said in a press conference Friday, October 27, when asked if he believes most of the drug suspects killed by PNP fought back.
Villanueva said he, for one, "could not imagine" how suspects with handcuffs "can have the courage to grab the guns" of the police.
The JIL founder is among more than half of Filipinos, according to a recent Social Weather Stations survey, who do not believe the PNP's "nanlaban" line. (READ: Filipinos who believe 'nanlaban' claim of cops have higher trust in Duterte – SWS)
Villanueva made his remarks in the press conference on the 39th anniversary of his 5-million-strong JIL at Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
In the same press conference, the JIL founder slammed extrajudicial killings and blamed these on "scalawag" police.
Villanueva, the father of Senator Joel Villanueva, explained why he is now speaking out against EJKs.
He said he initially counted on Duterte's promise, in his inaugural speech on June 30, 2016, that his "adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising."
"A few days after, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang! Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang! And I was shocked. This is contrary to the inauguration national statement," Villanueva said.
He said of EJKs, however: "I believe in my heart, the President does not know this. These could be abuses of some scalawag members of the police system who decided to impress their superiors."
Villanueva appealed to Duterte: "Sana ang Pangulo kastiguhin niya, huwag niyang i-tolerate 'yung mga policemen na pumatay nang pumatay just to get rewards and promotions." (I hope that the President would chastise and would not tolerate policemen who keep on killing and killing just to get rewards and promotions.) – Rappler.com