PNP chief Bato to witnesses in drug killings: We will protect you
Rosette Adel (philstar.com) - August 23, 2016 - 6:00pm

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Tuesday guaranteed the safety of witnesses who testified at the Senate on drug-related killings.

Dela Rosa particularly mentioned one of the witnesses, Mary Rose Aquino, who named Antipolo City police officers allegedly involved in drug trade.  Aquino claimed her parents used and sold drugs, which they sourced from the police officers. The drugs sold were allegedly the same seized in raids.

READ: Two witnesses testify on extrajudicial killings

The PNP chief assured Aquino that the police officials named have already been ordered removed from the Rizal Police Provincial Office and will be confined in Camp Crame pending the results of investigations by the PNP Internal Affairs Service.

“Tinanggalan na po namin ng armas. Huwag po matakot sila Mary Rose. Hindi na po kayo under threat kasi iyong mga pulis na iyan, tinanggal na namin doon,” Dela Rosa said.

“Umuwi na po kayo sa inyo. Puwede niyo na tanggalin ang cover sa mukha, please. Andito kami. We're here to protect you. Huwag kayong mag-alala, iyong mga pulis na iyan, naka-confine na po,” he added.

Dela Rosa also offered the witnesses the 'White House', the PNP chief's official residence, which he said may serve as their safe house for the meantime.

Asked what will happen to police personnel proven to be involved in drugs, Dela Rosa controlled his temper and said he could not imagine officers sworn to serve and protect the public engaged in illegal drugs,

“Hindi ko sasabihin dahil masama, your honor, pero alam niyo na ang ibig kong sabihin. Gigil na gigil po ako, your honor,” Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa said he has already removed officers involved in drugs and have prohibited them from conducting Oplan Tokhang and Oplan High Value Target operations. He also allayed fears of some in the public, citing that some police officers even offer free rides and serenade the public to dismissed the negative perception of the police.

"Nilipat na po namin sila at hindi po namin ini-involve sa Oplan Tokhang at Oplan HVT kasi po, habang nakikita sila ng taumbayan, hindi maniniwala ang taumbayan na itong kampanya ng pulis laban sa droga ay seryoso dahil andiyan pa si PO1 at PO2 ganon kaya tinanggal namin,” the PNP chief said.

The PNP has intensified its Oplan Tokhang campaign, a door-to-door campaign to ask drug suspects in the police watch list to surrender to authorities.

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