PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that the murder of 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, whose body was recovered in Nueva Ecija, was likely an effort to sabotage the Philippine National Police (PNP).
In a speech at the 17th founding anniversary of Digos City, Duterte said that it was not the job of the police to brutally kill a person.
The President added that the individuals behind the murder of De Guzman may be attempting to "discredit" the national police force.
Duterte then instructed Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Ddela Rosa, who also graced the event, to closely monitor the deliberate act that seeks to tarnish the policemen's reputation.
"Look at it (brutal killing) because that's a sabotage against you. That's a deliberate act. [Policemen] will shoot [a criminal] but will not wrap [his face]. It's not a job of the police. Someone’s trying to sabotage you," Duterte told Dela Rosa.
"Monitor that. Someone's behind that to discredit you," he added.
The President did not mention De Guzman's name but the minor's face was covered with packaging tape and his body bore 30 stab wounds when he was found dead in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.
De Guzman was the third teenager who was recently killed.
Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, and Kian Lloyd Delos Santos, 17, who were both killed in Caloocan City during separate instances.
Arnaiz and Delos Santos were both gunned down by Caloocan policemen and accused of being drug offenders.
During his speech, Duterte revealed that Arnaiz was his relative.
On September 6, Duterte met the Arnaiz's family at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang and pledged that he would pursue a case against the police officers involved in the killing.
The Chief Executive insisted that the policemen merely fulfill their duty "within the bounds of the law."
"The armed forces, the police, I will protect them in their performance of duty… A person who is a victim of salvage, we do not do that. That’s stupid…. [To the police], just follow the law," Duterte said.
"That's not our work. I don't allow that. Us, we operate within the bounds of the law," he added.
Earlier in the day, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the government expressed alarm over the "suspicious" killings of teenagers.
Abella gave assurance that those behind the killings would be held accountable if it will be proven that they commit wrongdoing.
"It's a deep concern. Like we said earlier, any death -- even just one single, violent death -- is a call for concern, especially with the younger ones," Abella said.
"Rogue cops, if and when allegations are proven true, have no place in an institution like the Philippine National Police," he added. (SunStar Philippines)