No sacred cows

No sacred cows

There will be no sacred cows in President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, including his own children should they be found to be linked to the menace. Director General Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, stressed this yesterday as he recalled Duterte telling Davao City policemen when he was still the mayor to shoot to death any of his children if they are caught engaged in illegal drugs activities.

There will be no sacred cows in President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, including his own children should they be found to be linked to the menace.

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, stressed this yesterday as he recalled Duterte telling Davao City policemen when he was still the mayor to shoot to death any of his children if they are caught engaged in illegal drugs activities.

Dela Rosa also said that Duterte’s public announcement of the five police generals suspected of having links to illegal drugs has sent a strong message that he is taking his campaign promise of declaration of all-out war on illegal drugs seriously.

GENERAL-PROBLEMS — Still snappy in their uniforms, police generals (from foreground) Joel Pagdilao, Bernardo Diaz, and Edgardo Tinio walk out of the conference room at the Department of Interior and Local Government-National Police Commission (DILG-Napolcom) Center in Quezon City, after submitting themselves for investigation.

“This is a strong message on his statement before that there will be no sacred cow, and that he will fearlessly run after anybody who will be involved in the illegal drugs activities,” he added.

The announcement has also boosted the morale of the PNP.

“This is a morale booster not only to the PNP but also to the whole nation,” Dela Rosa told the Manila Bulletin when asked of the negative or positive implication of what some sectors describe as shaming of the five generals.

Last Monday, Duterte publicly implicated retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo and Chief SuperintendentVicente Loot, as well as active police officers Director Joel Pagdilao and Chief Superintendents Edgardo Tinio and Bernardo Diaz in illegal drugs activities.

Dela Rosa revealed that Duterte’s statement against the five generals is just actually the first wave of revelations of people in the government who are either connected to the recycling of illegal drugs or drug protection racket.

LOCAL EXECS NEXT IN LINE

Aside from the police officials, Duterte will reportedly name local government officials who are behind the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.

The five police generals have already denied any links to illegal drugs.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the President has sufficient basis in implicating the five police generals to illegal drugs, but Duterte won’t hesitate to apologize if his allegations are proven wrong.

“Palagay ko naman kahit sino, pag mali ka tatanggapin mo pero in this particular thing, I think he will not name any person if he does not have valid basis. May ebidensya,” Panelo said in a media interview at the Palace.

NO VIOLATION

Panelo added that Duterte neither violated due process nor fomented trial by publicity when he publicly named the five police generals.

“No law nor due process has been violated… There is no trial by publicity,” Panelo said in a chance interview with reporters in Malacañang.  “When the President named them, he was in fact giving them the opportunity to explain their side and that is what they are doing now,” he said.

Panelo likewise dispelled speculations that the police generals have become victims of trial by publicity as alleged by some groups. He pointed out that after being named in public, the police generals went to the media and expressed their innocence.

“Walang trial by publicity. Hindi one-sided. It’s a two-sided affair,” he said. They were named – along with retired police general and now Daanbantayan, Cebu, Mayor Vicente Loot – by President Duterte as being involved in the drug trade. (Federico Cruz and Avito Dalan / PNA/ mb.com.ph)

Earlier, the PNP leadership declared that the victory of Duterte inspired the police organization to conduct more aggressive illegal drugs operations around the country.

DRUG DEATHS RISING

Based on police records, the death toll in the campaign against illegal drugs have already ballooned to 103 from May 10 to July 3, which is noticeably higher compared to the fatalities recorded from January to May 9 with only 30 deaths.

Asked to comment on the death toll on illegal drugs, he said: “Excellent!”

Dela Rosa said he is satisfied with how the operations are being carried out. He said the strong message given by Duterte against illegal drugs has even compelled both small-time drug pushers and users to surrender in the past weeks.

Thousands of drug dependents and small-time pushers have yielded to the local police around the country. Those who have arrest warrants were immediately jailed while those who still have clean police records are being sent home after pledging that they would reform themselves.

Dela Rosa earlier vowed to finish the illegal drugs problem in the country in six months. His first order to the new police commanders is to reduce illegal drugs problems in their respective areas by 50 percent in three months.

He vowed to sack from their posts commanders who would not be able to deliver.

MAR DENIAL

Meanwhile defeated presidential candidate Mar Roxas denied connection with any of the five police generals named by President Rodrigo Duterte to have links with the illegal drugs.

What forced Roxas to issue a statement is the “Roxas Generals” branding of some of the social media users and even some of those in the tri-media.

“Despite lacking any basis, the insinuation is that these individuals campaigned for me in the last elections,” said Roxas.

Roxas stressed that not a single person from the five generals named by Duterte had been part of his campaign and the Liberal Party, adding his relationship with the five ended when he quit the post of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in 2015.

In some social media posts, Garbo was named as the person who led the meeting of the so-called Novotel generals with the staff of Roxas at the Novotel Hotel in Cubao, Quezon City, in April.

The alleged meeting was reportedly attended by Diaz, Pagdilao, Tinio, Loot.

But Roxas urged the public to be critical of the website circulating political rumors involving the five active and retired generals.

He said that one of the indicators of the propaganda being spread in the bogus news websites is that it failed to mention that Garbo and Loot were already retired from the service.

And in terms of political twist on the issue, Roxas said one of the generals being implicated supported Duterte when he ran for mayor in the recent elections.

Roxas was apparently referring to Loot who is now the mayor of Daanbatayan town in Cebu. Loot’s wife is a politician in the area.

“One thing is certain: There are still those who attempt to smear my name and reputation long after the campaign is done,” said Roxas.
Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/no-sacred-cows/#44gqko5ChBfHTQ71.99

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