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Palace vows fair probe on Bulacan raids

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos and Genalyn D. Kabiling

Malacañang yesterday assured a fair and impartial investigation on the anti-drug operations conducted by the police in Bulacan in which 32 drug suspects were killed in just 24 hours last Tuesday.

“There will be a fair and impartial investigation on the recent Bulacan raids,” Abella said.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows the updated list of those involved in illegal drugs in his speech during the 19th founding anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in Malacañan Palace on August 16, 2017. REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows the updated list of those involved in illegal drugs in his speech during the 19th founding anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in Malacañan Palace on August 16, 2017. REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

“The Bulacan raids, we have to underscore, are not the result of a single action, but a wide ranging simultaneous police operations against illegal drug offenders conducted in the whole province of Bulacan,” Abella added.

Abella maintained that police met violent resistance “as evidenced by the recovery of firearms, grenades, and live ammunition.”

Abella had earlier said that the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service will investigate the anti-drug raids that coincided with the province’s 439th Foundation Day and resulted into the arrest of 109 drug suspects as a matter of procedure.

A day after, President Duterte, in a speech at the 19th founding anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in Malacañang, lauded the police for the simultaneous anti-drug operations in Bulacan. It was considered the bloodiest night in the President’s war on illegal drugs.

“’Yung namatay daw kanina sa Bulacan, 32, in a massive raid. Maganda ‘yun,” Duterte said. “Makapatay lang tayo ng mga another 32 every day then maybe we can reduce what ails this country.”

Duterte added that he can’t be the country’s leader “forever” and that his tough crackdown against drugs might even lead to his downfall.

The President said he is ready to be prosecuted and rot in jail for his actions to protect the nation from the drug menace.

“I know I will have my own downfall. I cannot be President forever,” the President said before the gathering. “I know that they will demand to answer for all of this patay. Eh ‘di okay lang kung ako ang ma-no bail,” he added.

If sent to jail, the President said in jest he prefers to stay next to Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s cell.

“Basta gusto ko ilapit ako doon sa kwarto ni De Lima,” he said, citing he saw the senator’s comfy detention cell during a recent visit to Camp Crame, Quezon City.

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