Dela Rosa: Yes, extrajudicial killings have to stop

MANILA, Philippines – While admitting that he too wants to resort to shortcuts in the police force’s “all out war” against drugs, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said on Wednesday, July 20, that instances of extrajudicial killings “have to stop.” 

“Yes, it has to stop. Ako mismo, ayoko. Ayoko. Gusto ko man, kung tutuusin with the frustrations that we are getting right now...gusto kong gagawin, but I will not do it because that is against the law,” Dela Rosa told reporters on the sidelines of a visit to the New Bilibid Prison. 

(I don’t want that. I don’t. But considering the frustration we’re getting right now, I want to do it myself, but I will not do it because that is against the law.)

Dela Rosa was asked about instances of extrajudicial killings, perceived to be a consequence of the police force’s campaign against illegal drugs, crime, and corruption.

Vice President Leni Robredo, a member of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet, earlier made a statement condemning the “spate of extrajudicial killings that occurred recently.”

Since Duterte assumed his post on July 1, close to 200 alleged drug suspects have died in police operations. The figure does not include those killed in apparent killings by non-police forces. 

The 4-star police general said: “I am a police officer. I am the chief of the PNP. So I must uphold the law kahit na dito, kumukulo na dibdib ko, napipigilan ko pa rin (despite the anger I feel, I’m able to stop myself),” he said after overseeing the deployment of elite cops to the high-security prison in Muntinlupa City. 

Dela Rosa, who had said he “leads by example,” said police personnel should toe the line and take the cue from him. 

He also denied allegations the police were letting violence on the streets, saying all incidents of crime are being investigated.

“Although masaya tayo sa nangyayari, hindi pa rin natin mapabayaan dahil trabaho natin yan eh, 'di ba? ” said Dela Rosa, reacting to criticism that the police were letting drug syndicates kill each other and corrupt cops kill their own assets in the illegal drug trade.

(Although we’re happy over what’s happening, we can’t just let it be because it’s our job [to stop it], right?)

The police general advised PNP personnel to “turn to the Lord” and “pray” to avoid temptation. “

“Tao lang ako, nagagalit ako, naiinis ako, napu-frustrate ako. But because of my connection to the Lord Almighty, naga-guide ako ano'ng tamang decision na gagawin kaya napipigilan ko ang frustration,” he said.

(I’m only human. I get angry, annoyed, frustrated. But because of my connection to the Lord Almighty, He guides me on the right decisions to make so I’m able to control my frustration.)  added. –