PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa said that they are ready "to go back in the business" in the war on drugs if the President will order them to do so.
In a press conference during the relaunching of PNP-Petron Lakbay Ligtas on Thursday, Dela Rosa said that while they feel less burdened now after they were prohibited to engage in drug-related operations, he said that PNP is still willing to return if they will told to.
"Kung maibalik, it's all up to the President. Kung sabi ni President ibalik, then we are ready to go back into business," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week removed drug-related operations from the PNP, citing that this will solely be carried out by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in response to the criticisms from human rights groups and foreign governments amid alleged killings hurled against the war on drugs.
Earlier, Duterte suspended the drug campaign in January after police officers were linked to the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo inside PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
But after a month, the anti-illegal drugs campaign was renewed dubbed as Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded.
He added that the elimination of the drug war off from their shoulder will give them more focus in their anti-criminality effort.
He added that the war on drugs, which has earned both ire and approval from the public, he said, it has gotten them into trouble because of the killings initiated by unidentified hitmen.
"Alam mo, double whammy kami diyan sa war on drugs. First whamming, lahat ng aming resources, lahat ng aming energy, lahat ng aming time, lahat ng aming tao nakafocus sa war on drugs. Very taxing yon, napagod kami ng husto," he said.
He also said that criticisms from the media and critics of the Duterte administration were "very demoralizing" on their part.
Dela Rosa admitted that the PNP organization is not perfect as they also have lapses and existence of rogue police continues but he said that these are just few compared to the professional policemen in the ranks who have clean intention in serving the public.
"Inaamin namin hindi kami perfecto, may pagkakamali but yong pagkakamali naman ina-address natin at pilit ginagawan ng solosyon by filing cases against these erring personnel," he said.
Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said that the Caloocan policemen involved in controversy following their questionable operations is undertaking retraining and reorientation.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 21, 2017.
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