De Lima: Is Duterte gov’t using ‘Bato’ as scapegoat?
Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday said that it appears that the Duterte administration is looking for someone to blame in the scandals hounding the Philippine National Police (PNP).
And the scapegoat, according to De Lima, is no other than PNP chief Director Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
De Lima made the assertion following the call of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for Dela Rosa to resign after it was discovered that a Korean businessman was killed inside the PNP headquarters by rogue cops.
While maintaining that “major responsibility for the spate of ‘Tokhang-for-ransom’ incidents of course lies with Dela Rosa,” De Lima said he was only “part of the equation.”
“Dela Rosa is only following the President’s orders to let loose a police force free from any accountability, especially for EJKs and other abuses committed in the name of his war on drugs,” the senator said in a statement.
Alvarez on Friday said Dela Rosa should resign as he has already lost the respect of his men in the wake of the Korean businessman’s murder.
Dela Rosa’s attendance in the concert of international rock star Bryan Adams did not turn things to his favor.
Suggesting that Dela Rosa’s resignation will not solve the problems in the PNP, De Lima called for concerned parties to go into the real cause of the problem which she said has turned cops into criminals.
“A genuine recognition of the root of the problem should go beyond blaming Dela Rosa, and instead condemn the drug war policy that has produced human rights violators and criminals out of the men and women of the PNP,” she said.
“The kidnappings committed in the name of the drug war will not end anytime soon, as long as we also accept and tolerate the killing of drug suspects as legitimate police options,” the senator added.
The senator, who is a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, said that as long as the public accepts and tolerates the killings of drug suspects as legitimate police options, the kidnappings using the drug war as a cover will not end anytime soon.
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