Sabotage? Bato questions release of Reuters’ expose on alleged EJK

  • PNP chief questioned timing of Reuters’ story on alleged EJK in Tondo slum
  • He said foes may want to besmirch PNP’s image ahead of its return in drug war
  • He also said story was released to influence SC justices on anti-drug drive

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa questioned the timing of a Reuters story covering an alleged extrajudicial killing (EJK) by cops in a Tondo slum; saying it could have been done to derail the police force’s return to the war on drugs.

“Tina-timing nila saka ilalabas mga ganung damaging reports about the PNP kung kelan ibabalik sa amin ang drug operations. Ibig sabihin ‘yung mga kalaban natin, ayaw talaga pabalikin sa atin ang war on drugs,” GMA News quoted him as saying.

[They are timing the release of the damaging reports just when the war on drugs is about to be returned to the PNP. It means there are enemies who do not want the war on drugs to be given back to us.]

The PNP chief, who was in the Supreme Court to defend the government’s anti-drug drive, said the story could also have been done to sway the justices.

“Ibig sabihin kung ngayon lang lumabas, they have been preparing, researching nang husto at tina-timing nila ‘yung oral argument sa SC saka nila pinalabas. Para ano pa?” he said.

[This means that if they released it just now, they have been preparing, researching very diligently and timing it with the oral argument at the SC. For what else?]

CCTV footage in the Tondo operation showed policemen from the Manila Police District (MPD) dragging away the bodies of three drug suspects. The operatives had claimed they only shot and killed the victims in self-defense.

Kin of those killed in the government’s anti-drug operations are questioning the constitutionality of the PNP’s Oplan Double Barrel and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)’s “Masa Masid” or community dropbox initiative.