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Bato to drug war critics: You're ingrates

For police chief Bato Dela Rosa, critics to the government's drug war are ingrates. File Photo.

MANILA, Philippines — Critics of the government’s war on drugs are ingrates, according to Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

In an ambush interview at the sidelines of an LRTA event, Dela Rosa, who has been known to make emotional responses to criticism, told critics: “You can criticize us to high heavens, but I can tell you straight sa mata: Inggrato kayo.”

The police chief said: “Nakinabang din kayo sa peace and order na dinulot ng war on drugs. You can criticize us… Inggrato kayo.”

The police chief said that he is not addressing a specific person, but critics of the drug war in general.

“Mga anak mo, pumapasok na walang kaba, walang takot dahil bihira na ang krimen sa kalsada,” Dela Rosa claimed.

The national police chief made the statement a day after the Senate held a hearing on deaths of teenagers, allegedly at the hands of police officers.

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According to a Social Weather Stations survey done during the second quarter of 2017, fewer Filipinos fell victim to common crimes but fear of crimes remains.

Respondents fearing unsafe streets eased a bit in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon, but went up by 13 points in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte’s home region, to 55 percent.

Drug-related deaths since July 2016

According to the latest statistics released by the PNP, there have been 6,225 drug-related deaths since July 2016.

The PNP said 3,850 have "died in police operations," suggesting these are drug suspects who engaged arresting officers in shootouts.
 
Police said another 2,290 "deaths under investigation", have already been determined to be "drug-related."
 
According to government's #RealNumbersPH release on June 30, with data updated until June 19, there were 8,200 deaths under investigation out of 12,833 homicides recorded since July 1, 2016.
 
The Presidential Communications Operations Office said then that 2,098 were drug-related.

But human rights group tally more than 12,000 deaths under the 15 months of the administration’s war against illegal drugs.

'Drug suspect drop boxes only a starting point'

Dela Rosa also assured the public that a new strategy of deploying “drop boxes” nationwide so the public can anonymously submit information on drug syndicates and suspects only serves as a starting point for operations.

“Hindi naman ibig sabihin na lahat ng nasa drop box, kino-consider na totoo,” Dela Rosa said, adding: “At least, may starting tayo.”

He said that someone can drop a name in a drop box because of a grudge but said authorities will still validate the allegation.

The Commission on Human Rights was quick to flag the move of the Department of the Interior and Local Government as susceptible to abuses. “This also violates the right of any person to be head before he/she is condemned. A person’s honor, as well as the reputation of his/her family, would also be harmed,” the CHR said.

The death of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos, believed to be at the hands of Caloocan cops, has sparked public outrage.

During the Senate probe on Delos Santos' killing, sacked Caloocan police chief Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna said they "validated" the teen's alleged drug involvement through some social media posts after he was killed.

Police officers implicated in the case told the Department of Justice in an official filing that Delos Santos also brought death upon himself. Their counter-affidavit reads: “[I]f Kian Delos Santos did not involve himself in the illegal drug activities, then he would not be involved in any 'Oplan Galugad' and he does not need to open fire at our patrolling drug officers.”

No case or complaint was filed against Delos Santos before he was killed on August 16.

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