35 mayors linked to drugs
Davao City – Incoming President Rodrigo R. Duterte revealed that 30 to 35 mayors are players in the illegal drugs trade.
Without mentioning names, Duterte said these local chief executives with links to the illegal drugs business cannot pick their chief of police.
“I will not assign to you a chief of police of your choice. I would even amend that law… sila sila mismo naglalaro diyan (they are the ones playing there),” said Duterte, who added that he would ask for the amendment of the law giving mayors the operational supervision and control of the police.
Republic Act 8551, an act establishing the Philippines National Police under a re-organized Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), gives the mayors the power to direct employment and deployment of units or elements of the PNP through the station commander.
He said same law also gives local chief executives the authority to choose the chief of police from a list of five eligible recommended by the provincial police director, preferably from the same province, city or municipality.
Duterte said he would instead assign police officers that would look into the drug activities of local chief executives.
“We will not be able to improve this country… let us put a stop to this play,” he told police during the turnover of command at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) last Friday, as he ordered police to apprehend drug pushers, dead or alive.
“If you encounter criminals – ask them to surrender. If he chooses to fight – and if you feel you will die unahan niyo na patayin mo (get them first kill them),” he said.
But he said it would be a different story if police kill criminals with hands tied. He told them not to kill criminals with hands tied otherwise “hindi lang ako ang kalaban niyo pati human rights… I will not be the only one against you but also the human rights…).”
He also vowed to stand for them “just don’t lie to me”. “You remain loyal to the Constitution and the Republic,” he said.
Duterte vowed to arrest high profile and valued drug pushers in the country.
“In this fight I put at stake my life, honor, and my presidency. One of us will be sorry – it will be you,” he said referring to politicians into illegal drugs.
He asked the police to stick to the rules in the fight against criminality and illegal drugs, which are the centerpiece of his administration.
Addressing Davao City employees yesterday, Duterte outlined his vision for the country, reiterating his imminent war on criminality and his plan to restore death penalty as this is anchored in his belief for retribution.
“I believe in retribution. I follow the classical theory. Magbayad ka sa ginawa mo (You have to pay for your deed). I do not follow the belief that criminals can be redeemed,” Duterte said as he assailed human rights campaigners.
“These human rights (groups), congressmen, how stupid you are,” Duterte said, as he highlighted their criticism of his plans to impose late-night curfews on children being out on the streets and to reintroduce the death penalty.
NO TO DEATH PENALTY
But neophyte Senator Risa Hontiveros vowed to oppose any move to restore death penalty.
“If someone files a bill calling for the reimposition of the death penalty, I would oppose it, for the same reasons I had when I was part of the movement for restorative justice when death penalty was abolished years ago,” Hontiveros told reporters in an interview after the Senate’s orientation for newbie senators.
“Death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It’s anti-poor and is never a deterrent against heinous crimes,” said the senator who is a former Akbayan representative.
Duterte, 71, won last month’s presidential elections in a landslide after campaigning largely on a platform of ending rampant crime, warning that the Philippines was in danger of becoming a narco-state.
He promised that tens of thousands of people would die, with security forces being given shoot to kill orders.
Since winning, Duterte has also promised to give bounties to police for killing drug dealers, and also encouraged ordinary citizens to kill or arrest suspects.
Last Friday, he pointed out that the Philippines is not financially “rich” that is why he wants to restore law and order to attract investors and spur the economy.
Duterte also vowed to also put some funds from which he can draw to help police for their medical and other needs through their city directors. Duterte also promised to double their salaries by the end of the year.
“Do not nurture loyalty to me. I don’t need it. I don’t need adulation. All I ask of you is to do your duty according to the law. According to the Revise Penal Code …if your life is in danger,” he said.
During his brief address before Davao City employees, Duterte apologized for the changes that have unfolded in the days leading to his ascension into Malacañang on June 30.
He said he can no longer be as approachable as the protocol enforced by the Presidential Security Group (PSG) does not allow him to be approached by anyone without clearance.
“I cannot even approach you, myself,” he said.
Duterte said the unit has insisted that his security would have to come first, and that this was a mandate under the law.
“If I can go back in time, I would not have fun,” he said, still the reluctant president 16 million people voted for during the May 9 national elections. “If this is a bad dream, I hope it is.”
Duterte also revealed that he was pushed into the presidency not by people from Davao but those from Cebu and Metro Manila.