- PNP chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said that the PNP should not be accused of carrying out summary executions of suspected drug criminals
- Dela Rosa explained that drug lords employ vigilantes to kill drug distributors who have problems remitting profits from the illegal drug trade
- He added that the police force should only kill criminals during legitimate police operations
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa revealed on Thursday that drug lords were responsible for the spate of vigilante killings which has left more than 200 drug suspects dead since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office on June 30.
According to the director general, the drug lords hire hit men to target illegal drug distributors and pushers who had difficulties remitting their earnings from the trade. The hit men would then make it appear as if vigilantes who are concerned about drug criminality were behind the summary executions.
“For all you know, these drug syndicates, they’re now killing each other,” the PNP chief said.
Dela Rosa said that the public should not accuse the police force of committing the vigilante killings but should instead look at the drug lords.
“You keep on looking at the police, you keep on suspecting us. But those behind these ‘salvage’ … these are the work of drug syndicates,” Dela Rosa explained.
According to the PNP chief, he found out about the drug lords’ modus operandi from a drug criminal who surrendered himself on Wednesday, asking the police from protection against a drug syndicate.
Dela Rosa added that the recent deaths of drug criminals in the hands of the police occurred during legitimate police operations. He explained that policemen who will kill criminals outside legitimate police operations would have to pay for their crime.
"Ayaw na ayaw ko yung extrajudicial killings… Gusto ko yung legitimate operations. Kapag kayo ay nagkakamali, kayo ay mananagot," the PNP chief told the media earlier.
(I really do not like extrajudicial killings… What I want are legitimate operations. If you commit mistakes, you will have to pay.)
Due to the dramatic rise in extrajudicial killings nationwide, thousands of drug pushers and users who are scared of getting killed have already surrendered themselves to the police.