PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte in a speech on Tuesday, July 31 strongly warned the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to refrain from engaging in illegal activities.
“Huwag kayong pumasok diyan sa droga, ‘yang mga murder-for-hire, kasi ipa-project ko rin kayo (Don’t get involved in illegal drugs or murder-for-hire because I will make you my ‘project’, too),” Duterte said.
During the 68th National Security Council and 69th National Intelligence Coordinating Agency founding anniversary celebration in Pasay City, the tough-talking leader emphasized that uniformed personnel must abide by his warning or suffer the consequences.
“You can be very sure there will be a project for you and really that is to neutralize or terminate you,” Duterte stated.
He explained how such reminder seemed necessary so that police ‘scalawags’ will be punished, as reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“Kung hindi ko ganunin, walang mangyari sa ating bayan at this time when we are all bombarded with drugs, nobody seems to obey the law (If I will not do that, nothing will happen to our country at this time when we are all bombarded with drugs, nobody seems to obey the law),” the president said.
Duterte also claimed that “human rights” prevent people from following laws. He went on to compare his term with the previous administration.
“Ang pulis noon, previous administration, walang nahuli, iilan ilang buy-bust. It was only after I became president… nakita ko ang Pilipino nakapila na by the thousands araw-araw diyan sa television, all contaminated, all sickly, all rendered inutile because of drugs (The police before, in the previous administration, only conducted a few buy-busts. It was only after I became president… that I saw Filipinos lined up, all contaminated, all sickly, all rendered inutile because of drugs),” he said.
Duterte’s warning comes after recent controversy wherein a policeman was killed while three others were arrested in Taguig City for their alleged involvement in a kidnap-extortion incident.
Despite the international condemnation, the Philippine leader continues his war on drugs campaign.
A line from his State of the Nation Address (SONA) noted that his concern is on “human lives” rather than “human rights” garnered disdain from his critics. Former President Benigno Aquino even commented on the issue, asserting that those two were inseparable.
In a report from ABS-CBN News, the PNP has long been accused of corruption and inefficiency. As an attempt to address such complaints, the police force is ridding itself of unscrupulous individuals by conducting random drug tests on its personnel.
The PNP Internal Affairs Services (IAS) has recommended the dismissal of at least 85 cops since the war on drugs started its operations. Around 349 police officers tested positive for illegal drug use.