Four could still be too many, but while President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night said he has brought down the number of police generals and ninja cops he believes are involved in drugs, he vowed to chase these remaining errant officials even when he is no longer the country’s top leader.
Mr. Duterte made this vow during his speech at the oath-taking of the newly-elected officers and board of trustees of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang Palace on Wednesday night.
The President said he will make sure that they will pay for their crimes.
He also tagged them as responsible for some of the deaths involving drug pushers and users which were often blamed on government and dubbed by Duterte critics as extrajudicial killings (EJK).
“Initially, it was these generals who killed the drug dealers and the users,” Mr. Duterte said. “The killings served to cover up their crimes. Many of the victims were their runners. So it won’t be too obvious for them.”
“The generals and the ‘ninja cops,’ they are still there. They will all die because they have committed crimes against the people. They have been reduced to just four, but if I see them, I’ll shoot them,” he added.
The President again used the occassion to lash at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for its criticisms on the government’s war on illegal drugs, especially on its claims related to the alleged human rights violations committed as a result of the campaign.
“It was only worried about a dead carcass there. The (CHR) does not even know if a policeman had been killed,” he added.
The President said despite criticisms on the police, he will go by the records they presented.
“I will admit that these reports about police officials involved in drugs has semblance of truth. I go by government records. But if the police says they have killed 5,000. Then it is that number. But not 70,000 (as his critics claim), where will I bury all of them? he said.
Philippine National Police chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa previously said that a total of 357 policemen are being investigated for alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade.
Gamboa, however, refused to identify the accused policemen.