MANILA - Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Saturday denied anew there is an alleged culture of impunity in the Philippine National Police following viral posts on abusive police officers, which have drawn public condemnation.
Dela Rosa, a former national police chief, said in a public press briefing that the term is only used by government detractors to sow anger towards the administration.
"Gusto lang nila, ng opposition, na gawan ng istorya 'yang ganoon ng impunity para magalit ang taumbayan sa pangulo. Kung totoo 'yan na may impunity bakit umabot nang 93 percent ang approval rating ng pangulo? Kalokohan 'yan," said Dela Rosa, who as Philippine National Police chief had led the administration's widely criticized anti-drug campaign.
(The opposition just wants to create stories, frame it as impunity to sow anger towards the president. If it's true that there is impunity, why did his approval rating reach 93 percent? That's foolish.)
The police force has drawn heavy flak after a video surfaced showing off-duty police officer Jonel Nuezca fatally shooting his neighbors Sonia Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony Gregorio during an argument in Paniqui town, Tarlac last week.
The incident sparked national outrage, with critics calling it a "terroristic police attack" and others pointing out that this was a product of the "culture of impunity" instilled by Duterte, who has spoken about shooting drug suspects and other violators dead.
Dela Rosa said that if a culture of impunity existed, cases of police killed in operations should also be considered as such.
"Kasi nga mayroon bang presidente, chief of PNP, regional director… Mayroon bang chief of police or to the lowest level of command ng PNP na nagsasabi na patayin natin ang mga suspek? Mayroon ba? Wala naman," Dela Rosa said.
(Is there a president, a police chief, regional director... Is there any chief of police to the lowest level of PNP's command that blatantly ordered to shoot suspects? None.)
"How about 'yung mga pulis natin na namatay and na-injure they are also victims of culture of impunity? Kung gusto nilang i-establish ang culture of impunity na nangyayari. So biktima rin ng culture of impunity ang pulis na namamatay," Dela Rosa said.
(What about police officers who get killed and injured? If they want to establish the culture of impunity happening, police should be considered as victims too.)