MANILA (UPDATED) - Several senators on Friday criticized Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa over the death of South Korean businessman Ick-joo Jee, who was brutally killed inside Camp Crame.
Senator Francis Escudero, Panfilo Lacson, Koko Pimentel Alan Peter Cayetano, and Antonio Trillanes IV expressed dismay over the South Korean's death and urged the PNP to immediately deal with the case.
According to Escudero, the death of Jee is “outright wrong and unacceptable” and shows the lack of respect policemen have with Dela Rosa.
“A person was murdered by a police officer inside the HQ of the PNP. This is not only embarrassing, it is outright wrong and unacceptable. This shows the absence of respect and sheer arrogance of some police officers not only with their PNP Chief but with their uniform and organization,” Escudero said in a statement.
Escudero urged Dela Rosa to deal with the involved cops “harshly” to show that abusive behavior will not be tolerated within the PNP.
Lacson, a former PNP chief, said Jee’s death should serve as a wake-up call for Dela Rosa to go after rogue policemen especially those who take advantage of the administration’s war on drugs.
“This is probably the most unwelcome wake-up call for Director General Ronald de la Rosa. Having said that, the PNP leadership should lose no time in addressing the issue by henceforth going hammer and tongs against all rogue cops who only care about their personal gains to the detriment of the entire police organization," he said.
"Priority must be against those who take advantage of the president's all-out, mostly bloody war against illegal drugs," he added.
Cayetano believes the incident should serve as a wake-up call not only for the PNP but for other government agencies as well.
He said he appreciates Dela Rosa's gesture of taking responsibility for the slay.
"Natutunaw siya sa hiya, I appreciated his gesture, his statement or mea culpa na tinatanggap niya ang responsobility," Cayetano said.
"Nakakalungkot at nakakagalit," meanwhile said Pimentel.
Dela Rosa admitted on Thursday that Jee was killed in the national police headquarters compound, supposedly by cops. Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel allegedly strangled Jee to death while inside a black car parked beside the PNP community relations group office, which is near the PNP Press Office. The suspects were allegedly extorting money from Jee's family.
Pimentel said although he was angered by Jee's death, it was not enough reason to call for Dela Rosa's resignation, contrary to calls made by some netizens who called for #BatoResign.
Calls for the PNP chief to leave his post came following Dela Rosa’s admission that Jee was killed inside the police camp with some netizens highlighting issues on extrajudicial killings and police-related deaths.
Pimentel urged the public to see whether Dela Rosa is a “papatay-patay” (lazy) PNP chief, saying Dela Rosa should also be credited for solving the crime even though it also happened under his administration.
Trillanes on the other hand, said the decision to either fire or retain Dela Rosa would show President Rodrigo Duterte's leadership style.
"Na sa kay President Duterte yan, kung siya ay talagang pinapangalagaan niya ang reputasyon ng PNP ngayo’t kaliwa’t-kanan na ang batikos diyan. Titignan natin ang kaniyang leadership style kung anong gagawin niya," he said in an interview on DZMM.
He added that the incident serves as a challenge to Dela Rosa to prove why he deserves to remain as PNP chief.
"Kay General Dela Rosa naman, hamon iyan, habang hindi pa siya sinisibak ng kaniyang commander-in-chief, dapat ipakita niya na karapat-dapat siya sa pwesto niya," he added. - With reports from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News
Jee Ick Joo, Ronald Bato Dela Rosa, PNP, Chiz Escudero, Koko Pimentel, Panfilo Lacson, crime