'Bato' denies linking Reuters to drug syndicates

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2017 11:17 PM

NUJP asks 'Bato' to apologize to Reuters

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Wednesday asked Philippine National Police Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa to apologize to international publication Reuters over his remarks on its Tondo drug raid killings report.

The NUJP, in a statement, said Dela Rosa should apologize for alleging that Reuters "may be in cahoots with drug syndicates."

"At the very least, he owes the men and women of Reuters, particularly writers Clare Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall, an apology and a pledge to ensure their safety from the possible consequences of his irrational and irresponsible utterances," the statement read.

"Dela Rosa, of all people, should know that even speculating out loud about people’s possible addiction to narcotics may have fatal consequences," it continued.

The PNP chief on Tuesday alleged that Reuters released the report after President Rodrigo Duterte considered bringing the PNP back at the helm of his anti-narcotics campaign.

"Tina-timing nila, saka nila ilalabas yung mga ganung reports about the PNP, kung kelan ibabalik [sa drug war]. Ibig sabihin, yung mga kalaban natin ayaw tayo pabalikin sa war on drugs. Anong kinakatakutan nila? Di naman sila mga adik siguro," he claimed.

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Dela Rosa on Wednesday, however, denied that he insinuated Reuters was in cahoots with drug lords.

"Wala naman ako sinabi na ganun, wala akong sinabi na they're in cahoots sa drug lords. Alam ko ang drug lords, may efforts talaga, they are not taking this sitting down," Dela Rosa told radio DZMM.

Dela Rosa said he has instructed the PNP Internal Affairs Service to conduct an investigation into the October 11 anti-drug operation in Tondo, Manila.

"In one way nagpapasalamat pa rin ako. Dahil sa kanilang pagpapakita ng palabas na yan, pwede naming imbestigahan yung gumagawa ng operation na yan dahil ayaw namin ng kalokohan," he said.

"So pag mapu-prove namin iyan, pinaimbestigahan ko na sa IAS eh, kung maprove namin yan na may ginawa sila—although yung video I cannot directly say conclusive yun na may kalokohan na ginawa. Kung partial investigation will show na kalokohan yung ginawa nila, mananagot sila."

The Reuters report released Monday showed CCTV footage of the police operation wherein three men were killed by cops.

The footage doesn’t show the police shooting the three men, but does show an officer appearing to open fire on an unseen target. One of the victims falls backwards into the frame, his body hitting the ground. His arms move for a while before resting motionless.

Less than a minute later, the camera that captured the scene of the shooting is effectively put out of action: someone turns it to face the wall. A second camera shows a police officer reaching up and turning it away.

Police claimed the 3 men drew guns and fired at them first, prompting them to retaliate and leave the suspects "fatally wounded."

ABS-CBN News ran same story in October. - with a report from Reuters

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