Malacanang assured the public Monday that it will investigate, prosecute, and punish officers and members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who break the law.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque offered this assurance in response to the alleged killing of teenagers who were shot dead in anti-drug operations in Laguna recently.
“President Duterte was still on top of his drug war because the government will continue to go after rogue cops,” Roque said in a press briefing.
The families of the victims want justice for 16-year-old Jonhdy Maglinte and drug suspect Antonio Dalit, who they believe were summarily executed in an anti-drug operation in Binan, Laguna.
Roque admitted that there are “bad eggs” within the police force but assured the public that the new PNP leadership is doing its job to rid the police of scalawags.
“There are 240,000 PNP personnel. If there are bad eggs, they constitute the exception rather than the rule,” he said
Roque said people who feel they were victims of abuse can file complaints.
“If there’s anyone who feels that they are victims, the President has repeatedly said that he will not countenance police action that violates the law but will support them when they’re on the right,” he said.
“The reality is the alleged killings arising from the drug war were not killings intended to target civilians as such. They were collateral damage so to speak arising from a valid police operation to deal with the growing threat of drugs,” he added.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, meanwhile, questioned the move of International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to seek a probe into the alleged extrajudicial killings in the administration’s drug war.
The government would stand by the President’s decision not to cooperate in any ICC probe, Año added.
“The ICC normally investigates ethnic genocide. Those killed here are criminals involved in drugs and these are covered by legitimate operations, which is why it’s puzzling why this is being singled out and categorized as genocide,” he told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo in Filipino.
He added that the Department of Justice is already conducting its own investigation.
Also on Monday, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the police force is “open to any investigation.
“We are open [to] any investigation but right now we are concentrating on our job,” Eleazar added.