PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa on Tuesday challenged the law enforcers who have turned to the Catholic Church to seek help to produce evidence to back-up their claims about their alleged participation in state-sponsored extrajudicial killings.
"Ano basis nila d'yan? Sana naman huwag nila gawing fishing expedition. Kung totoo man i-present nila sa Senado, walang problema. Kunan nila ng affidavit present sa Senado," he said when asked about his reaction to move of some policemen to seek sanctuary and legal help from the church.
[What is their basis? I hope they don't use it as a fishing expedition. But, if it is true they better present it to the Senate. Have their affidavit prepared and present them to the Senate.]
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas earlier said unnamed law enforcers have come to them and confessed to taking part in extrajudicial killings as ordered by their superiors.
Dela Rosa said they do not see any problem with the policemen seeking for the Catholic Church's help but they are hoping that the law enforcers will just speak the truth.
He said that the credibility of the cops plays an important part as they may possibly serve as witnesses in Senate investigations.
The Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs is conducting an investigation on the drug-related killings, including those allegedly sponsored by the government, in relation to the war on drugs.
"Like for example 'yung prini-present kahapon na pulis ng Region 4B (Mimaropa) na si (Police Officer 1 Vincent) Tacorda na kinukunan ng Senado ng video. Then afterwards noong sinabi na magpakita (sa Senate hearing) nag-recant pala sa kanyang statement. Hindi daw totoo 'yung sinasabi nya, nirecant nya. So dapat 'yung kailangan 'yung katotohanan," he said.
[For example, the one who was presented yesterday in the Senate, PO1 Vincent Tacorda, from Region 4B. They took his video and when he was told to face the Senate it appears that he already recanted his statements saying it was not true. So we only need the truth.]
Dela Rosa was referring to the Catanduanes police officer who resigned from the service in April after he issued an affidavit claiming that his superior was instructing them to kill and plant evidence against drug suspects.
Tacorda said, however, that after days of "serious soul searching", he realized that he loves the organization. He recanted his statement and withdrew his resignation.
Dela Rosa said Tacorda remains on active service and he is presently assigned in Pandan town, Catanduanes. (SunStar Philippines)