President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday lamented the continued involvement of some cops in the recycling of seized illegal drugs, saying these policemen should be killed.
Speaking before newly appointed officials in Malacañang, Duterte affirmed reports about corruption in anti-drug operations.
“Totoo ‘yang corruption sa droga. ‘Yang recycle sinasabi lagi. P—ina, patayin mo talaga lahat ng pulis na crooked,” Duterte said.
The President later clarified that policemen alleged to have been involved in recycling of illegal drugs would be accorded due process.
“With the present setup of government, hindi mo makuha ‘to. You know, you just cannot fire him, for due process, right to be heard, investigation. Talo talaga ang gobyerno sa totoo lang,” he told reporters.
“With so many restrictions, under the Bill of Rights, since this is a democracy, hanggang diyan lang talaga tayo. You cannot be a superman here. But little by little, maybe towards the end, I promise you that by the end of my term at least maminus-minus ang sakit ng ulo.”
Duterte’s comment came after Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino told the Senate on Monday that the practice of selling seized illegal drugs by unscrupulous policemen remained rampant.
Responding to PDEA’s claim, the Philippine National Police said it agreed that some corrupt police officers continued to engage in "nefarious and illegal acts."
"That is the reason why the PNP's campaign on internal cleansing remains relentless and we will not stop until all rogue cops are weeded out and charged in court," PNP spokesman Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac said on Monday.
Banac encouraged the public to report to authorities any illegal actions committed by cops.
The Duterte administration has been waging an intensified campaign against illegal drugs since 2016.
Authorities reported that 5,526 drug personalities have been killed in police operations around the country since Duterte assumed office in June 2016, but local and international human rights groups said the figures could be higher.
Malacañang has repeatedly said that the drug-related killings were not state-initiated nor state-sponsored. It also said Duterte does not tolerate abusive police officers. —NB/LDF, GMA News