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He may have expressed support for policemen performing their duty but President Duterte is not about to obstruct any legal processes probing suspected erring cops.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar maintained the President has even urged the National Bureau of Investigation to file cases against policemen who may have violated the law.
“The recent pronouncements of the President pertaining to the PNP, standing by his men, are critical to maintaining their high morale, with the end in view of succeeding in the anti-drug campaign,” Andanar said. “It should not be misinterpreted to mean that the President will intervene in investigations or any legal proceedings in order to exculpate erring cops,” he added.
The President earlier said he would not allow policemen linked to the killing of a town mayor in Leyte to go to jail even after the NBI claimed it was a rubout. Duterte said he believes in the version of the cops on the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, adding that they were merely following his order to kill suspects if they violently resist arrest during operations.
The President even cast suspicions about the NBI findings that Albuera was murdered by the cops, saying it did gather enough testimonies to build its case. Still, Duterte said the NBI should go on and file the case.
Andanar explained that the President’s support for the policemen is based on the presumption of regularity in doing their job. Duterte, however, will not stop the NBI from carrying out its mandate.
“What should be underscored is the very clear statement of the President that while he continues to adhere to the presumption of regularity in the PNP’s performance of its duties, he states in no uncertain terms that he will not interfere with any legal proceeding which will be brought against some members of the police force who are suspected of wrongdoing,” he said.
“As he said, the NBI should file cases against those who they deemed to have violated laws, and that he would not intervene in these proceedings,” he added. (GENALYN D. KABILING)