Bato shrugs off possible misses in ‘narco list’ but admits lack of evidence

AJ Bolando - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – While most, if not all, who are included in the infamous “narco-officials” list denied their involvement in the drug trade, Philippine National Police Director General  Rolando “Bato” Dela Rosa didn’t seem to care whether or not they were proven guilty before being named.

The PNP chief stressed the importance of the results rather than questioning the process of the government's drive against illegal drugs.

“Hindi ko alam bakit masiyado tayong concerned doon sa kung magkakamali tayo,” Dela Rosa said in a press briefing on Monday and added that the apparent misses make up a small percentage of the list.

“Sana concerned tayo doon sa magandang idudulot nitong kampanya.”

READ: Fuming Dela Rosa curses at PNP officers in 'narco-list'

At one point, Dela Rosa agreed with a question from the media that “there is not enough evidence” against the personalities included in the list.

“What can I do they are named by the president, pero hindi naman ‘yan chismis lang na ibinulong kay presidente,” the PNP chief said.

According to reports, the narco-list is less than accurate.  One supposed party-list representative on the list has never been elected to Congress while a judge who has been dead for almost a decade also made it to the list.

He said the names that the president mentioned publicly are from intelligence that went through a validation workshop by the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Dela Rosa presented to the members of the media the 32 police officers and 27 local executives who went to Camp Crame Monday to clear their names after President Rodrigo Duterte called on them very early Sunday morning to surrender within 24 hours.

READ: 159 ‘narco-officials’ named

He once again shrugged off criticism that others are receiving special treatment, while some suspected drug users and peddlers on the streets are killed and denied due process.

“Paano ko naman sila papatayin e nag surrender sila dito sa loob ng Crame, alangan naman hindi ko sila i-entertain. People are asking for blood, but I can’t give unnecessary blood,” said Dela Rosa.

“’Yung mga namatay pagkatapos mag-surrender, they are presumed to be re-engaging to drugs. Kaya namamatay ‘yung mga ‘yun sa dahil nanlaban sa buy-bust.”

The politicians who surrendered will be investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), while the Internal Affairs Service and Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM) will look into the PNP personnel.

READ: Duterte to give ‘narco officials’ due process

Police officers whose names were dragged in the list are required to turnover their issued firearms, while the licenses of their personal guns will be temporarily revoked.

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