President Duterte has reiterated that the state of lawlessness in the Philippines remains in effect and clarified his order to dismantle checkpoints all over the country.
Speaking to reporters during his visit to his parents’ tombs in Davao City late Tuesday night, the Chief Executive said he only wants permanent road checkpoints dismantled. Mobile military and police checkpoints will remain, he added.
In his speech at the launching of the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and other conflict affected areas in Regions 9, 10, and 12 in Cotabato City last week, Duterte said all “unnecessary” checkpoints must be dismantled.
“Yung permanent checkpoints…iyon ‘yung ayaw ko. Pero ‘yung checkpoint na mobile, either police or military, especially if they have information that this guy is coming this way, or passing through at mag-checkpoint sila precisely to stop that criminal, that is not covered.”
He also said that the state of lawlessness which he declared in September is still in effect.
“Yes, so that I can utilize the military as if they are also guardians of law and order,” he said. “Ang military kasi, external threats. Then there is the threat to the State, so internal. Ngayon, state of lawlessness. Kita mo naman, shabu is alive,” Duterte added, citing the gravity of the drug problem in the country.
Meanwhile, Duterte congratulated the military and the police for the recent arrest of four more suspects in the September 2 bombing in his home city of Davao that left more than a dozen people dead.
“I congratulate the military and the police…I think that was a joint effort,” he said.
He ordered the Philippine National Police to initiate summary dismissal proceedings against a Makati City police officer reportedly involved in extortion activities, victimizing tourists.
“I have heard reports about a Makati police (officer) nangongotong diyan sa mga turista… I am ordering the police right now to relieve him, place him under suspension, and initiate summary dismissal. Ayaw ko na ‘yung matagal na ano… summary dismissal,” he said.
“Or if you want, at your convenience… itong Inspector na ito, you better resign,” he added.
The President likewise issued a stern warning against corrupt police officers. “Itong mga pulis na ito, you better stop or I will stop you. You interpret it whatever way you like but do not ever think na may ranggo ka, na may armas ka and you feel invincible.” (Elena L. Aben)