Duterte warns police 'scalawags': You will die first

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2017 05:47 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2017 05:48 PM

'Don’t be surprised if they are killed one of these days'

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday issued a warning to so-called police "scalawags" who evaded their deployment to Basilan.

Duterte earlier this month ordered the deployment of some 300 errant cops to Basilan, as the government seeks to cleanse the police force of bad eggs.

The president said, those who did not follow the deployment, as well as other policemen who have criminal records, should prepare to die.

“I would like to warn the -- I will not spare you, mauna talaga kayong mamatay. Kapag nagkamali kayo, mauna kayong mamatay. Mabubyuda talaga ang asawa mo… Special targets kayo,” Duterte said in an interview with reporters in Malacañang.

“Don’t be surprised if they are killed one of these days, one by one.”

The president said, he has asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to form a task force dedicated to monitor the activities of these cops.

“I have requested the police to form a squad at bantayan ang mga pulis na naalis na sa mga trabaho. Most of them are ninjas, so they are high in the list and don’t be surprised if they are killed, because they are wanted,” Duterte said.

“Kapag nawala yun sa trabaho, they will continue their plunder, they will continue with their crime. So meron talagang tiga silip sa kanila from time to time.”

Only about 50 out of the more than 300 errant cops showed up for their deployment to Basilan last week.

Duterte’s order to deploy the errant cops to Basilan came after the PNP suffered another blow to its reputation following the killing of a Korean businessman inside Camp Crame allegedly by rogue cops.

The controversy prompted the PNP to stop its war on drugs, but the president said today he will call back some policemen to participate in the anti-drug campaign, citing lack of manpower.

Duterte has earned international criticism for his war on drugs, which has so far claimed more than 7,000 lives, but the government is only claiming responsibility for about 2,500 of these deaths.

The president, who served as mayor of Davao City for over two decades, has also been accused of running a death squad which went after petty criminals, drug traffickers, and even innocent people and political opponents.