Duterte visits wake of slain Bulacan cop

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2018 07:52 AM | Updated as of Mar 14 2018 08:02 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte early Wednesday paid his respects to a policeman who was killed in an encounter with alleged drug dealers in Norzagaray, Bulacan last weekend. 

Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa and Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go accompanied Duterte to the wake of slain SPO1 Ronaldo Legaspi. 

Duterte and Dela Rosa were seen consoling Legaspi's family in photos shared by Go. 

Duterte visits the wake of slain SPO1 Ronaldo Legaspi. Photo courtesy of Bong Go

Duterte visits the wake of slain SPO1 Ronaldo Legaspi. Photo courtesy of Bong Go

Duterte visits the wake of slain SPO1 Ronaldo Legaspi. Photo courtesy of Bong Go

Duterte visits the wake of slain SPO1 Ronaldo Legaspi. Photo courtesy of Bong Go

Legaspi, 47, was shot dead during a gun battle when drug suspects opened fire after realizing they were dealing with undercover policemen on Sunday. 

One suspect was also killed in the clash but his companions escaped and are being hunted by the Norzagaray police. 

Duterte was elected in 2016 on a promise to eradicate drugs, and launched an unprecedented campaign in which police said some 4,000 have been killed after allegedly resisting arrest and fighting authorities. 

Of the total, 102 drug suspects were killed by police between December 5 -- when Duterte ordered the force to rejoin the drug war -- and March 1, police said. 

In October last year, the President announced that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency would replace the police in counter-narcotics operations following mounting public opposition, including rare street protests.

But Duterte, 72, also repeatedly said the anti-drug agency, with only around 2,000 officers, would not be able to effectively conduct the crackdown.

He eventually ordered the police back into the anti-drug campaign. 

The President is facing a preliminary investigation before the International Criminal Court over the alleged abuses under his anti-narcotics drive.