MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa on Monday denied that President Rodrigo Duterte is protecting alleged drug lord Peter Lim.
Dela Rosa came to Duterte's defense after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV during a Senate hearing on Monday showed pictures showing Duterte and Lim together.
Trillanes argued that if Duterte deserves not to be immediately accused of coddling Lim based solely on their pictures, Senator Leila de Lima must also not be judged of protecting self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa just because they were in a photo.
Dela Rosa said while the photos show that Duterte and Lim had been seen together in several occasions, he insisted that the president did not know of Lim’s supposed illegal activities.
He said the president ordered a case build-up against Lim after learning of the latter’s supposed links to the drug trade.
Dela Rosa said even before Espinosa’s revelation that Lim was his source of illegal drugs, he had already learned from Espinosa’s brother, Kevin Roland, about Lim’s illicit activities.
“Right away nag-report ako kay President. Sabi ko iyung Peter Lim na kumpare mo sir, iyan ang itinuturo na talagang confirmed na source ng droga ni Kerwin,” Dela Rosa said.
(Right away I told the president. I told him, ‘Sir, Peter Lim, is a confirmed source of illegal drugs of Kerwin.)
Dela Rosa said the president then ordered him to work on the case.
“Ang sagot ni president, ‘Trabahua, kung masukol patya (trabuhin mo, kung papalag, patayin mo),’” Dela Rosa said.
The police chief said he was careful not to divulge the case buildup against Lim, but said he had to speak up to defend the president from accusations he is coddling Lim.