MANILA, Philippines — A punch in the face and beating await cops behind the “palit-ulo” scheme as an enraged Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa vowed to go after the illegal activity exposed by Vice President Leni Robredo if proven true.
“Napakagago na pulis. You can just imagine ‘yung kanyang version na hulihin ‘yung nanay o ‘yung tatay tapos kung hindi makita ‘yung suspect o kaya ‘yung kapatid,” Dela Rosa said in a press briefing at Camp Crame on Monday.
“Iharap ‘yung pulis na ‘yan ngayon at susuntukin ko sa mukha ‘yan pulis na ‘yan sa harap mo. Bubugbugin ko ‘yan. Hindi ko pababayaan ‘yung ganun klaseng ginagawa,” he added.
While acknowledging the new scheme of scalawag cops, Dela Rosa, however, denied the revelation of Robredo and explained what the “common practice” of “palit ulo” means in the PNP.
“’Yung palit-ulo na version na sinasabi ni vice president dini-deny ko po ‘yan. Kung may kaso noon I have yet to receive a complaint about that,” he continued.
“Palit-ulo wherein ikaw nahuli kita may drug pusher ka, ngayon palit-ulo ilaglag mo sino ‘yung supplier mo or sino ‘yung drug lord sa taas, kung masasabi mo ‘yan, hindi naman actually papalayain, depende lang, for a lesser offense,” Dela Rosa explained.
In a video uploaded last week by the Drug Reform Coordination Network, Robredo said in her message for the 60th annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs that “voiceless and powerless” members of poor communities approached her office to share their experiences on the war on drugs.
“They told us of the ‘palit-ulo scheme’ which literally means exchange heads. People are told that they didn't have any right to demand for search warrants because they were squatters and did not own the properties on which their houses were built,” said Robredo who is against the bloody campaign of the Duterte administration against illegal drugs.
Dela Rosa also clarified that he did not receive any letter from the Office of the Vice President to investigate the “palit-ulo” scheme but assured that any complaints will be entertained.
“Kahit na ordinaryong tao, kahit hindi vice president ang magreklamo sa akin aaksyunan ko talaga ‘yan, lalo na we are deep into our internal cleansing program ayaw natin mangyari yan,” the nation’s top cop said.
Around 7,000 people were killed during the first phase of the administration’s effort to rid the country of illegal drugs, resulting in objections from local and international groups, including human rights’ activists. But the PNP chief reiterated that the numbers were exaggerated.
“’Yung sinasabi nila na umabot ng 7,000 actually hindi umaabot ng 7,000. Huwag ‘yung wholesale nila na pati ‘yung namatay sa vehicular accident during our campaign ikakarga doon na drug-related. ‘Yung mga ibang cause of death kaya umaabot ng 7,000 plus ‘yung record,” he said.