Shoot-to-kill order out for narco-pols
(The Philippine Star) - August 6, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte issued yesterday a “shoot-to-kill” order against politicians involved in illegal drugs, saying their unforgivable acts have plunged the country into a crisis.

Duterte, who has vowed to end the narcotics trade and criminality within six months, accused the politicians of destroying lives and of enriching themselves at the expense of the people.

“P***ng i** ninyo. Did you not think about where this problem would lead us? It’s good that I am the President now. I will have you killed. Have you seen what you’ve done to the Philippines? And then I will forgive you?” the President said in an interview in Davao City.

“My order is shoot to kill. I don’t care about human rights. Believe me. I don’t give a s**t about what they will say. This war is against drugs and we have a crisis,” he added.

“Shoot to kill will remain until the last day of my term,” he added.

Duterte, who had vowed to wage a “bloody” war against crime and illegal drugs, did not identify the politicians covered by the order.

The President told editors and reporters of The STAR last Wednesday that he had to carefully validate the involvement of politicians in the narcotics trade before revealing their names.

The President issued the order four days after he demanded the surrender of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte, and his son Kerwin, who were accused of drug trafficking and coddling drug lords.

He threatened to issue a “shoot on sight” order against the Espinosas if they do not surrender to law enforcers.

Mayor Espinosa has surrendered to authorities but his son Kerwin has remained at large.

Duterte said he would have forgiven the so-called narco-politicians if they were involved in other illegal activities like smuggling.

“Don’t give me b*llsh*t. You better find another sin but not that (illegal drugs). You will surely die,” he added.

Asked to clarify his ‘shoot-to- kill’ order, Duterte said: “Shoot to kill is to shoot and kill him. Do not waste the bullet.”

Duterte said based on his experience, paranoid people usually carry guns, so it was not likely that they were planted by policemen.

He reiterated that he is ready to protect soldiers and policemen who would face charges in connection with the intensified anti-drug campaign.

“For as long as it is done in the performance of duty by the soldier and the police, that’s mine. That is my official and personal guarantee. I will answer for the deed,” Duterte said.

“If a policeman figured in an encounter, do not investigate that anymore. That’s my order.”

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte’s statement is “congruent with government policy on maintaining and protecting peace and order in the nation.”

“He has given due and ample notice that the clear and present danger of drugs engulfing the nation will be addressed and law enforcers will neutralize those who resist or endanger the lives of arresting officers,” Abella said.

More than 400 persons have been killed in anti-drug operations while more than 5,000 others have been arrested, according to latest police data.

More than 560,000 drug personalities have surrendered to authorities.

Human rights advocates are worried that the administration’s crackdown on drugs would result in extrajudicial killings and abuses.

Sen. Leila de Lima, a critic of Duterte, said last Tuesday that the methods employed by law enforcers bring Filipinos to their “collective descent into impunity, fear and ultimately, utter and complete inhumanity.”

De Lima called for a Senate investigation of the killings that she described as “do-it- yourself justice” employed by those involved in the war on drugs.

Duterte started to shame officials with supposed links to narcotics last July 5 when he named five retired and active police officers who are allegedly coddling drug lords.

Accused of shielding drug syndicates were retired police deputy director general Marcelo Garbo Jr., retired police general and newly elected Daanbantayan, Cebu mayor Vicente Loot, former National Capital Region Police Office head Director Joel Pagdilao, former Quezon City Police District director Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio and Western Visayas regional director Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz.

The five have denied any links with narcotics and believe that the President was fed wrong information.

Last month, Duterte revealed that he has a matrix of local executives and police officials who are connected to drug lords.

Presidential communication secretary Martin Andanar said in an earlier interview that the matrix was “unbelievable” and enough to make one vomit.

Early this week, chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte would soon reveal the names of 27 local executives who are benefitting from the drug trade. 

“My God, you will be shocked,” Panelo said, referring to the list.

Duterte visits wounded cop

Duterte visited yesterday Senior Insp. Ricky Boy Remoroza, the police chief of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur who was wounded while serving a warrant of arrest against a suspect drug pusher.

Remoroza was surprised when Duterte visited him at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City where the police officer is confined.

Remoroza was shot in the chest and abdomen while serving a warrant of arrest on suspected pusher Vicky Calago, also known as Kalag, who was shot dead during the shootout with the police officer.

In a short video over YouTube, Duterte was shown being led to the ward where Remoroza was confined.

A man in white shirt appeared to wake up the resting police officer saying, “Si Presidente nibisita gyud sa imo (The President is here to visit you).”

Duterte then said doctors had briefed him on Remoroza’s condition, assuring the latter that there is no problem.

“Your doctor said you are going to be okay. Your (Duterte gestures toward his heart) was not hit. The other one (Calago) was killed. So, there is no problem. Just keep on fighting,” the President said in Cebuano.

Remoroza was unable to speak but gave the President a thumbs-up.

Calago was reportedly the most wanted drug pusher in Magsaysay town.

The suspect was earlier charged with violating Article 2, Section 5 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The arresting officers recovered from the suspect a caliber .38 revolver and two small sachets of suspected shabu.

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office had neutralized 157 drug pushers, arrested 1,198 others and initiated the surrender of 22,156 drug users from July 3 to Aug. 3, NCRPO director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said yesterday.

Albayalde said they also recorded the death of 76 drug pushers at the hands of suspected vigilantes in secluded areas in Metro Manila.

Despite their anti-drug campaign success, however, Albayalde ordered his five police districts to intensify their efforts to rid the metropolis of drug pushers to meet the six-month deadline of President Duterte.

“So far so good. But we have to raise to another level our anti-drug campaign for us to be able to eradicate the drug problem in Metro Manila to meet the deadline set by President Duterte,” said Albayalde. With Giovanni Nilles, Non Alquitran

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