MANILA (UPDATE) - “Maganda iyon.”
President Rodrigo Duterte had this to say about the simultaneous raids in Bulacan that left 32 suspected drug personalities dead.
The President said his government is willing to carry out more killings in legitimate police operations if this will reduce "what ails the country."
“Makapatay lang tayo ng mga another 32 everyday then maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” he said.
“It’s really a problem. It takes a toll on the lives of the people, whether you are victim or criminal. Walang katapusan ito," he added.
Duterte acknowledged that the killings in police operations and his comments praising these would again raise alarm among human rights group. He, however, said he will continue to shield the police from criticism as long he is the president.
“Ngayon, pag namatay ka, pasensya ka. Pumasok ka diyan eh,” he said.
The President castigated the Commission on Human Rights and other rights groups for condemning his drug war, saying these groups were turning a blind eye on the victims of drug-induced crimes.
“Itong human rights, ‘Bakit marami?’ Kasi ang pulis, nagtatrabaho. Alam mo bakit? Kasi protektado sila sa panahon ko.”
“Hanggang rekomendasyon lang sila. They can write anything. Condemn the police, condemn everybody, pagdating ng recommendation, wala naman,” he said.
Without elaborating his plan, the President said he will one day file “conspiracy” charges against these groups.
He also threatened to have shot human rights activists who will “obstruct justice.”
“Buti na lang ‘yung ano. Sabihin mo pulis, barilin mo na ‘yang kasali diyan. If they are obstructing justice, you shoot them,” Duterte said.
“Para makita talaga kung anong klaseng human right... Galit ako sa inyo. Because hindi niyo tinitimpla kung anong klaseng papasukan ninyo.”
Lamenting the continued operation of illegal drug traders in some parts of the country, Duterte warned mayors in drug-infested areas to shape up or face suspension.
“Mga mayors, you have the authority over the police. If you cannot control drugs in your city, I will just suspend you. Magbakasyon ka na lang,” he said.
The anti-drug operation killings in the Luzon province came in the wake of the President's vow during his second State of the Nation Address that his war on drugs will be "unrelenting".
32 DEAD IN 24 HOURS
Bulacan police chief, Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat, said 66 anti-drug operations were conducted in 24 hours, from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday (August 15) to 12 a.m. Wednesday (August 16), resulting in the deaths of 32 suspected drug personalities.
The police operations, Caramat said, resulted in 20 armed encounters and 109 arrests of drug suspects. Authorities also recovered P1 million worth of "shabu" and 34 guns.
Caramat said the operations they conducted had legal basis, and they prepared for these over one month before they executed the anti-drug sweep.
"On our part, we know that we've done nothing wrong. But there are some sectors that might investigate us. We are open to any investigation," he said in a press conference.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos earlier said that, as a matter of procedure, the police Internal Affairs Service will probe the controversial anti-drug operations.
The Duterte administration has many times defended its drug war against critics, saying reported figures- from 7,000 to 9,000- were overblown.
Recent PNP data show that a total of 3,451 drug personalities were killed in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to July 26, 2017.
The PNP has also determined that out of the 12,833 homicide cases from July 1, 2016 to June 16, 2017, 2,098 deaths were drug-related and 2,535 not drug-related. A total of 8,200 homicide cases were under investigation "with motives to be determined," the PNP said. - with report from Henry Atuelan, DZMM