- PNP Chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa is now meeting with the high-ranking generals named by the president as protector of the drug ring
- No media has been allowed near the Philippine National Police (PNP) Headquarters
- PNP Chief Bato says that these are allegations so the generals cannot be charged just yet
The generals named by President Rodrigo Duterte as alleged protectors of the drug ring are all set to meet PNP Chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa at the Camp Crame on Wednesday, July 5.
Among the generals named by the president during his speech at the PAF anniversary ceremonies in Clark Pampanga on Tuesday, July 4, were two retired generals and 3 more in active service. The president had announced the names of retired Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr, retired General Vicente Loot, who is now the mayor of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu, former National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) regional director Joel Pagdilao, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Edgardo Tinio, and General Diaz.
PNP Chief Bato said that these are pure allegations and that the generals cannot be charged. He also told reporters that while his office is open for the generals' explanation, he cannot compel the retired ones to meet him as they are no longer "under his jurisdiction".
“I will talk to them and I will listen to their explanation. ‘Yung mga retired na, I cannot compel them to talk to them because they are no longer under my jurisdiction. They are no longer under my command,” Dela Rosa said.
PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa did not elaborate on Duterte's allegations, and said, “all intelligence reports are submitted to him.”
Three of the five generals have already denied the allegations after the president's pronouncement.
QCPD director Edgardo Tinio expressed his shock after being named as a drug protector. He said that he is willing to face the president to clear his name and that he had “never touched” drugs. He also challenged those who tipped the president to properly explain the details of his alleged involvement. He reassured the public that his service was transparent, and cited his achievements in convicting criminals.
“Kaya kong magpa lie detector test, kaya kong humarap kahit kanino. Ang nakakalungkot, kung nabigyan ang presidente ng maling impormasyon at ako’y nadamay. Sira na ang aking pangalan,” Tinio said.
(I can undergo a lie detector test, I can face anyone. What’s saddening is if the President was given wrong information. My reputation was already tarnished.)
Retired Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot, the newly-elected mayor of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu, also expressed denial over the allegations of being a drug protector. In an interview he said, “I can never be a protector [of illegal drugs] because I was not involved in any anti-drug operations and anti-criminality campaign.”
Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, the former Western Visayas police director, likewise denied alleged involvement in criminal drug activities. In a telephone interview, he claimed that he did not know why Mr. Duterte had implicated him in illegal drugs.
“I will submit myself for investigation in Camp Crame,” he said. “I hope the investigation will be conducted immediately so I can clear my name,” he added.
Media personnel were not allowed near the PNP HQ.
As of press time, NAPOLCOM's Vice-Chair Rogelio Casurao is holding a press conference detailing the fate of the generals implicated in drug trade.