DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 May) – “Police are not gangsters and not criminals,” said incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa as he allayed fears that his approach in dealing with drugs and criminality may violate human rights.
In an interview outside the “Malacañang of the South” within the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 11 compound in Panacan, Dela Rosa told reporters that the authorities will follow proper police operational procedures so that his men will not violate human rights.
“We assure the public that we, the police, will follow the police operational procedures. Hindi kami magpapa-disadvantage sa laban na ito. Dapat kriminal ang mamamatay,” he said.
He said that he will make sure that his policemen will observe due process against suspects in the conduct of police operations.
Dela Rosa, director of Davao City Police Office (DCPO) from 2012 to 2013, said there were no extra-judicial killings and no so-called death squad during his time.
He added that they employed proper police operations to combat criminals.
“There will be due process and we will make sure to observe it. Hindi kami mga gangster, hindi kami mga kriminal kaya alam namin ang police operational procedure,” Dela Rosa said.
On Duterte’s promise to address drugs and criminality within three to six months, he said that it will require them to employ “full force of the law” and the cooperation of the people to attain it.
“Gagawin namin yan pero we will see to it na we will apply the police operational procedure to our own advantage at hindi to the advantage of the criminals. Siguraduhin natin yan kasi sunod ng sunod ka pero tatalunin ka ng kriminal,” Dela Rosa said.
He reiterated his warning to drug pushers and criminals that they will get PNP’s wrath if they don’t stop, as he emphasized that he will crack down on drug lords when his term as PNP chief begins with Duterte’s assumption as president by noon of June 30.
“Talagang makatikim sila kung anong dapat matikman nila,” Dela Rosa warned. “Upakan lahat ng drug lord, bahala ka na mag-interpret nyan basta upakan. It can be physical, bahala na kayo.”
He also vowed to clean the PNP of police involved in drugs and criminality and replacing them with new ones. He will also implement a reshuffling in the agency.
Earlier, the president-elect warned of massive reshuffling in the PNP after he accused police in Metro Manila of being remiss in their duties and failure to curb criminality and drugs.
“Reshuffle natin. We must make sure that once we assume, we hit the ground running. You cannot run if yung naka-pwesto, alam mo na non-performers, medyo kulang sa commitment sa kanilang trabaho. So siguraduhin natin na yung ilagay natin ay talagang bukod na magaling na official, mga palaban din, hidni natatakot lumaban kahit sinong kalabanin nila,” he said.