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Dela Rosa warns police scalawags

DAVAO CITY – The incoming head of the Philippine National Police, Chief Supt. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, yesterday said that scalawags in uniform involved in illegal drugs will not be accorded the “gentle persuasion” that will be given to common drug offenders, but instead face “outright elimination” if caught.

“Pag pulis hindi dadaanin sa tokhang (knock and persuade) yan. Bigyan (eliminate) na derecho,” Dela Rosa told reporters here.

Dela Rosa noted that out of the 160,000-strong PNP, “more or less one percent” is involved in illegal drugs. “Yung 99 percent, performance nila magagaling. Kung one percent, masama ang performance, ito ’yung napapansin ng media,” he said.

Dela Rosa also had a terse warning for drug lords, who now have a bounty of R3 million each that was pledged by president-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte.

“Pag lumaban, patay. Pag ayaw lumaban, buhay siya. Ganun lang ’yun,” he said. Dela Rosa underscored that operations against drug lords and drug personalities will be relentless even if they leave their places of operations.

“Maraming umuuwi sa Marawi, Cotabato. Naglalayasan, pero pupuntahan namin,” the former chief of the Davao City Police Office said.

Duterte had been known to serve warnings to drug personalities to leave Davao City or face the risk of being killed. But since Duterte will assume the presidency by June 30, Dela Rosa noted that drug personalities cannot just transfer from one place to another.

As such, Dela Rosa offered this remaining option for drug offenders: “Where else (would they go) but out of the country? Mag-abroad na sila.” (Yas D. Ocampo)