Official says conflict-stricken city deserves the best law enforcers
MANILA- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday thumbed down the move to send erring cops to Marawi City, saying the conflict-torn area deserves the best law enforcers.
"They should send the best people here because we need the good people to come here and fight this war. We do not need 'yung patapon dito kasi anong gagawin nun dun?" Lorenzana said in a press briefing in Marawi City.
Lorenzana's comments came following the arrival of two erring cops in Marawi City on Tuesday.
Police Officers 1 Jose Tandog and Chito Enriquez of the Mandaluyong City Police Community Precinct 2, were sent to Marawi on orders of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
Their transfer was punishment after they were caught on video beating up two curfew violators last week.
The move has earned the ire of Lanao del Sur Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, who called the decision "offensive."
"Huwag sanang magamit, ma-exploit ang scenario na naghihirap kami rito. Naghihirap ang mga tao tapos gagawin tayong panakot sa mga abusado at mga may tendency na they go beyond what is in the book," Adiong said in an interview on DZMM.
The defense chief said erring cops sent to Marawi might add up to the problems of ground commanders in the conflict zone.
"Tsaka 'yung mga taong 'yun ayaw nila pumunta rito eh, napilitan lang. We need some good people, volunteers to help in the problem. Now, if you throw people here who are problematic, bibigyan lang natin ng problema 'yung commanders dito," Lorenzana said.
Clashes in Marawi City have been going on for more than a month. forcing over 300,000 to flee their homes in the conflict zone and nearby areas. The firefights have also left over 400 dead, including 85 state forces and 44 civilians.
Dela Rosa, who was at the briefing with Lorenzana, meanwhile said he respects the defense chief's opinion and assured that the cops sent to Marawi will become the "best cops that they could ever become."
"I guarantee you, after na na-reassign sila dito, they will become the best cops that they could ever become. I guarantee you," he said.
"Sigurado ako mag-reform 'yan dito sa Marawi, 100 percent," he added.