Dela Rosa backtracks, now says okay to release drug war docs
MANILA, Philippines – Contrary to his earlier statements, senatorial candidate and former top cop Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa now says he is fine with the release of documents on the Duterte administration's bloody drug war.
The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief on Tuesday, April 2, reacted to the Supreme Court (SC) decision ordering the release of tens of thousands of documents related to the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign.
"Wala akong concern, wala akong 'tinatago, wala akong takot diyan. Go ahead, that's [a] public document. Kunin 'nyo 'yan, kung ano gusto 'nyo, sige. Wala kaming 'tinatago," Dela Rosa told reporters in an interview on the sidelines of PDP-Laban's rally in Malabon City.
(I have no concerns, I'm not hiding anything, I fear nothing. Go ahead, that's a public document. Get it, whatever you want, fine. We're not hiding anything.)
"Okay sa akin kasi wala kaming 'tinatago.... Open kami to everything, anything," he added.
(That's okay with me because we're not hiding anything. We're open to everything, anything.)
But in January 2018, Dela Rosa sang a different tune. At the time, the PNP under him appealed the SC order for the turnover of the documents, saying it would endanger the lives of cops.
"Dahil binangga mo ang napakalaking sindikato ng droga. Alam mo na ang pagdisclose ng mga pangalan, hindi lang ma-e-endanger ang buhay mo, [kundi pati] pamilya mo," Dela Rosa earlier said.
(Because they stood up to big drug syndicates. You know that disclosing their names will endanger not just them but also their families.)
While saying he has no issues with releasing the documents, Dela Rosa cited another possible concern: harassment of policemen.
Once cops are harassed, they would no longer be able to do their jobs, he said.
"Prone na prone ang kapulisan to harassment. 'Pag na-harass ang pulis, wala nang kikilos, wala nang magtratrabaho. 'Pag finile-an ng kaso, suspendido ka, saan ka kukuha ng pangkain sa pamilya 'nyo? Mga pulis ngayon 'di na kikilos," Dela Rosa said.
(Police are very prone to harassment. Once they're harassed, no one will act or work. If cases are filed against them and they get suspended, how can they feed their families? Cops now will no longer work.)
With the SC decision, the petitioners against the drug war – the Center for International Law and the Free Legal Assistance Group – will now receive copies of police and other investigation reports related to the more than 20,000 killings by both vigilantes and cops.
Solicitor General Jose Calida had strongly blocked the release, citing national security as reason. (READ: Evading probes? The many times Duterte admin didn't give drug war documents) – Rappler.com