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Standing firmly behind his men, President Duterte has vowed that he would “not allow” the imprisonment of policemen implicated in the alleged premeditated killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
The President said the National Bureau of Investigation may file charges against these policemen but he would not abandon his men who were just following his order.
“I will not allow these guys to go to prison. Bahala sila sabihin ng NBI na murder. E tutal under NBI ko, under ko rin ‘yan Department of Justice,” Duterte said during an urban poor assembly in Mandaluyong City.
“But to tell you I do not interfere, may finding sila. good. File ninyo kaso pero di ko pabayaan itong mga pulis na ito kasi ako ang may utos,” he added.
The NBI had released the results of its investigation into the deaths of Espinosa and his cellmate Raul Yap, saying they were killed in a “rubout” inside the Leyte sub-provincial jail in Baybay City last month. Several witnesses have disputed the claim of an alleged shootout between the police and the inmates while serving a search warrant.
The President, however, said he prefers to believe the testimony of the policemen instead of criminals.
“There are four million addicts in this country. Sinong may kagagawan nito? And there is one lousy soul, a son of a bitch, ‘yun ang gusto ninyong paboran?” he said.
Duterte insisted that he has a standing order to policemen to shoot drug suspects who resist arrest. In the case of Espinosa, Duterte believed the account of the police operatives that Espinosa put up a fight during the raid that led to his death.
“Naniwala ako sa pulis kasi kaming mga mayor, congressman. Sino bang paniwalaan nila? Ang pulis o ang kriminal o yung mga suspetsa, suspetsa na ano? Kung ano sinabi ng pulis, yun ang totoo sa amin,” he said. (GENALYN D. KABILING)