Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa during the Kapihan sa Senado forum, July 4, 2019.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo
Dela Rosa on 3-year-old's death in drug bust: 'Shit happens'
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - July 4, 2019 - 3:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — The death of a three-year-old girl in a police drug bust in Rodriguez, Rizal drew strong criticism from rights groups but Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the nation’s former top cop, dismissed the demise of the girl, saying “shit happens.”

Police claimed that the three-year-old girl was used as a human shield by his father—the subject of their drug bust operation—but her mother refuted this and said they were sleeping when the cops arrived.

The cops said the girl’s father, Renato Dolorfina, was killed because he “fought back.” Senior Master Sergeant Conrado Cabigao, who went undercover for the operation, was also killed.

Dela Rosa, who admitted that he did not know the details surrounding the child’s death, also pointed out that Oplan Tokhang victim’s families always refute the police’s narrative that their loved one fought back and was killed in the process.

The former top cop explained that the rules of engagement state that there should be no collateral damage, but he stressed: “We live in an imperfect world.”

“If everything is perfect, no one would do wrong, but there are a lot of imperfections that is why that happened,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino on Thursday’s Kapihan sa Senado forum.

“But shit happens. During operations, shit happens.”

Dela Rosa said the Senate might look into the case.

“We’ll not stop inquiring, looking for something that can improve our situation,” he added.

Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde told CNN Philippines’ “The Source” earlier Thursday that he already ordered that the 20 police officers involved in the operation be relieved.

Commission on Human Rights monitoring, probing the case

The Commission on Human Rights condemned the child’s death and said it is closely monitoring the developments of the case.

They reiterated that the 1987 Constitution states no person shall be deprived of life.

“Minors caught in the crossfire of the government's initiative in combatting illegal drugs in the country are simply not collateral damages. They are victims. Their hopes and dreams fall short once bullet enter their bodies,” the CHR said.

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE RONALD DELA ROSA
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