President Duterte yesterday denounced insinuations that the government is behind the alleged summary executions of suspected drug personalities.
Duterte came to the defense of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during his speech before officers and personnel of the Police Regional Office 12 (PRO 12) in General Santos City on Friday.
“That is not the job of the police to make mummies. . . .Why would we waste our time wrapping bodies with – to make mummies out of those – kaya ako galit,” said Duterte, as he lashed out at his critics especially from the international community.
The President said his critics do not understand the magnitude of the drug problem in the country.
He blamed the drug syndicates and their police protectors for the spate of summary killings that have put his administration in bad light.
“Di ba nila alam na pati mga police generals at police involved? At lahat ‘yung pinatay, nagpatayan sila because unahan na nila kasi these guys will be squealers?” Duterte asked.
“Did it ever occur to you that there was also a silencing stage for them? Mostly sila-sila lang. Then ang patay nila tinatapon sa akin, kay (PNP Chief) Bato (Dela Rosa). How stupid can you really get?” he added.
Amid the criticisms, Duterte said his order to policemen has not changed.
“Go out and hunt down the criminals, arrest them, and if they offer a violent resistance, and you think that (your) life (is threatened) – ikaw ang mamatay, kung hindi siya . . . patayin mo sila. ‘Yan ang order ko sa’yo. That has not changed,” he said.
The President also emphasized that he is standing by the police as long as they do their job.
“Pag sinunod ninyo ako, wala kayong problema, ako ang bahala sa inyo. Hindi ako papayag na may militar o pulis makulong dahil sa utos ko kasi ang bayan natin hirap. Hirap na hirap ang bayan natin sa droga,” he added.
In the same event, Duterte commended the men and women of PRO12 for a job well done under the “Project Double Barrel” anti-illegal drugs operations conducted in the region.
Before delivering his speech, Duterte inspected an assortment of confiscated firearms, ranging from small caliber handguns, rifles to machine-guns, and grenade launchers.
The weapons were seized from General Santos City, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and neighboring provinces.
The President personally commended the team leaders of task forces that apprehended drug syndicate members with their high-powered firearms, drug paraphernalia, and even bomb-making components.
On top of the medals, each awardee also received P200,000 cash.
Awarded with a “Medalya ng Kagalingan” were Senior Insp. Reynante Pascua and Senior Insp. Renato Monreal. The award was in recognition of their accomplishment to neutralize members of a terror group, including the seizure of firearms.
Those who received the “Me-dalya ng Kagalingan” were Supt. Maximo Sebastian Jr., PO3 Marcial Inuguitan, and PO2 Jeffrey Benito, for neutralizing a group engaged in the illegal drug trade.
Also awarded with a “Medalya ng Kasanayan” was Supt. Joefel Remodaro also for anti-terrorism accomplishment.
A meritorious medal was also awarded by the President to Supt. Joefel Siason, Chief Insp. Mary Grace Licudan, Chief Insp. Lorenzo Hernaez III, Chief Insp. Giovani Ladeo, Chief Indp. Niel Wadingan, and Senior Insp. Felix Fornan.
(ELENA L. ABEN)