MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Thursday said the police under the Aquino administration spent most of its intelligence funds for rewards for the capture of criminals, mostly wanted terrorists.
"Iyung problema namin sa intel fund sa PNP, mayroong sizeable amount ng intel fund pero ang problema ang priority na napuntahan nito sa pang bayad doon sa rewards na tig-ilang milyon. Malalaki yung rewards na nakapatong sa mga kriminal eh. Sa mga terorista,'' dela Rosa told reporters after attending a Senate hearing.
Dela Rosa said police intelligence operations suffered because of this.
"Pagdating sa operation, sa intel operations medyo doon na sacrifice yung pera na hindi na masyadong na-suportahan iyung ibang operation. Pero kung gusto mo talaga na mataas yung success rate ng intel operations, ibuhos mo doon sa baba... sa operating units yung pondo. Huwag mong ilimit doon sa rewards,'' he said.
''Iyun ang napapansin namin sa previous administration. Hanggang ngayon may mga utang pa nga sa rewards. May nahuli na na hanggang ngayon hindi pa nga nababayaran."
During the Senate hearing, Dela Rosa told Senator Leila de Lima that the Aquino administration did not fully ignore the drug menace, but he noted that President Rodrigo Duterte has inspired policemen to do their job, knowing they have the full backing of the chief executive.
''We are more encouraged and motivated to do our job because we have a president determined to stop the drug menace,'' dela Rosa said.
''I myself was a part of the previous administration, but hindi ganoon ka masigasig ang ginagawa namin dahil in the police parlance, we call it 'buntot mo hila mo'. Ikaw police ka magpa-hero hero ka, nabangga mo ang sindikato and drug lord pala ang governor, relieved ka. Lalo na kung kapartido pa ng nasa Malacañang ang alaga ng mayor."
Appearing uncomfortable with dela Rosa's insinuation that the Aquino government coddled drug syndicates, de Lima cut short the police chief's statements but refused to engage the latter in a debate.
Dela Rosa and de Lima are set to face again on Monday when the latter conducts a hearing on the spate of killings related to Duterte's war on drugs.