Emotional PNP Chief: 'Unfair' to say there is pattern in Kian, Carl, Mayor Espinosa slay

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa cried foul as senators probed if there is a pattern to the series of recent police-involved killings.

Senator Bam Aquino noted how 17-year-old student Kian Delos Santos, 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, and Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. were all killed by policemen.

"May handcuff, nakagapos, binabaril. Iba pa kung talagang guilty sila o hindi pagdating sa drugs... Ang pinaguusapan natin ay ang pinapatay na hindi nanlalaban. Do you think, at this point, meron tayong pattern na nakikita?" Aquino asked the PNP Chief during the resumption of the Senate probe on Kian slay.

[Translation: There's handcuff (marks), tied, gunned down. It doesn't matter if they are guilty or they're involved in drugs. What were talking about is those who are killed that were not fighting against authorities. Do you think, at this point, we are seeing a pattern?]

Dela Rosa said the line of questioning is unfair.

"Unfair naman kung sabihin natin na porket maraming napatay sa aming operations, gagawan ninyo ng pattern na talagang intensyon ng pulis is patayin, Dela Rosa said.

[Translation: It's unfair to say that because many were killed during operations, you will say there is a pattern that the police's intention is to kill.]

As his voice slightly rises, Dela Rosa said Aquino should also consider the thousands of drug suspects they have arrested, and the number of his police officers who died during operations.

"Hindi ninyo kino-konsider yung pulis na namatay sa war on drugs," he said.

[Translation: You are not considering the police officers killed in the war on drugs.]

Authorities said more than 70,000 anti-drug operations were conducted from July 1, 2016 to August 29, 2017. This resulted in the arrest of more than 120,000 drug personalities and the death of 75 police officers. Dela Rosa said 2,216 suspects have died in legitimate police operations of the drug war.

Alleged narcopolitician Espinosa was killed by the police in a jail cell shootout on November 5 in Leyte. Kian was killed by Caloocan police on August 16 after he allegedly fired at them. Two days later, hold-up suspect Arnaiz was also killed by Caloocan police officers when he also allegedly fired at them.

PNP's policy to kill? 'Bato' cries

Senator Risa Hontiveros said there is reason to believe there is an ongoing "policy" in the police force to kill suspects.

"The killing of minors and young people are no longer isolated incidents. Hindi rin ako naniniwalang hayok lang sa pagpatay ang ilan sa ating kapulisan. May polisiyang nagdidikta sa kultura ng patayan ngayon sa ating bayan. There is a system to the killings. There is method in the madness," she said.

[Translation: The killing of minors and young people are no longer isolated incidents. I do not believe the police are trigger-happy. There is a policy that dictates the killings in the country. There is a system to the killings. There is method in the madness.]

An emotional Dela Rosa reiterated he has not ordered the police to kill.

"Mamatay man ako sa kinauupuan ko, wala kaming policy na malawakang pagpatay sa mga suspek," Dela Rosa said.

[Translation: Even if I die right now in my seat, we do not have a policy of widespread killing of suspects.]

He added he supports the senator's call for justice, but the police should also be given the same amount of justice and not bombarded with accusations.

"I am with you in that quest for justice. Sana 'yung hustisya rin ng karamihan ng pulis ko na nagtatrabaho, hindi rin sana madadamay sa sinasabi mo na polisiya. I am grieving for the majority of my men dahil 'yung buhay nila tapos i-accuse mo kami ng polisiya na ganun," he said.

[Translation: I am with you in that quest for justice. I hope justice will also be given to my policemen who are working. I hope they don't get dragged into the policy you're talking about. I am grieving for the majority of my men because they lay their lives on the line, then you will accuse us of that policy.]

"Masakit. Magpakamatay kami para sa inyo. Sabihin niyo policy na malawakang pagpatay," he said as his voice starts to break. "Nandiyan si Lord. Nakikita, alam niya."

[Translation: It hurts. We are dying for you, then you'll say there is a policy to kill. The Lord is there. He sees, He knows.]

Dela Rosa reminded Hontiveros that she should be more cautious with her allegations.

"Masama 'yung sabihin mo na ganun [It's bad to say those]. You should be careful, your honor," he said.

Dela Rosa and Caloocan Precinct Commander Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo were already in tears.

"Sana 'yung katotohanan lang. Huwag natin pre-condition yung utak ng publiko na ang pulis nila ay pumatay nang pumatay," Dela Rosa said.

[Translation: Just tell the truth. Do not pre-condition the public's minds there's an order to kill and kill.]

 

Hontiveros, addressing Dela Rosa, said she is asking accountability from the President.

"Doroy, bilang nagtatrabaho sa gobyerno, kaya ko makinig sa inyo, na nagsasabi ka ng totoo. Ang pagsingil ng accountability sa polisiya na iyan ay inaaddress ko sa Office of the President," she said.

[Translation: As someone who is working for the government, I can listen to you, to know you are telling the truth. I am asking accountability on that policy from the Office of the President.]

Dela Rosa said, although there is no order from President Rodrigo Duterte to kill drug suspects, the death of a few suspects are expected.

"175,000 strong (police force), lahat yan nakatutok sa drug war. So what do you expect? Meron talagang mamamatay," he said.

[Translation: 175,000 strong are all focused on the drug war. So what do you expect? Someone will die.]

Duterte, who had time and again repeated that he would not allow any policeman to go to jail for doing their job, said on August 23 a legitimate police kill does not include killing helpless suspects.

PAO denies 'pattern' in drug killings

Hontiveros also noted how the Public Attorney's Office said there are "patterns" in the cases of Kian and Carl.

PAO Chief Persida Acosta, also emotional, defended the government against the so-called policy.

"Walang pronouncement ang PAO na may pattern dito. Walang polisiya ang gobyerno na pumatay nang walang awa," she said addressing the senator.

"Yung similarity lang ng kaso ni Kian tsaka ni Carl: Parehong teenager, parehong ang nanay ay OFW, parehong may munting tindahan, parehong maayos ang itsura, at wala sa drug list. Pero wala akong sinabing pattern, na may utos na pumatay nang walang awa ang pulis," Acosta clarified.

[Translation: The similarities in the cases of Kian and Karl: Both are teenagers, their mothers are both OFWs, they both own a small store, both look nice, and they are not on the drug list. But I am not saying there is a pattern, that there is an order for the police to kill mercilessly.]

 

Dela Rosa also said there is no "one-time big-time" drug operations, contrary to the press releases the PNP is sending out.

"I've been telling my subordinate commanders and directors, please, do your job properly, and please observe the rule of law. Hindi tayo puwedeng mag-violate ng [We cannot violate] human rights," he said.