Dela Rosa: PNP stand vs. extrajudicial killings 'uncompromising'

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Senator Leila de Lima, chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, welcomes Philippine National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa before the start of a Senate hearing on extrajudicial and summary killings.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Philippine National Police (PNP) top brass Ronald Dela Rosa reiterated that the country's police force remains "uncompromising" in its stand against extrajudicial killings.

During the Senate joint committee hearing on alleged extrajudicial killings Monday, Dela Rosa said the national police will extend the full force of the law against those responsible for extrajudicial killings.

"If any policeman is found that he violated the law on self-defense, he will be investigated, prosecuted, and accordingly punished," he said.

Dela Rosa said the same goes for alleged vigilante killings, stressing that the PNP "does not and will never condone vigilante killings."

"I have previously mentioned that these killings are perpetrated by various syndicate groups involved in illegal drugs. Therefore, the PNP will extend the full force of the law against those responsible for these crimes," he said.

Dela Rosa said the police will be "more than willing to adopt the lessons that will come out of this hearing," while carrying out their duty as law enforcers.

Data from the PNP show the police arrested 10,153 drug pushers and users from July 1 to August 21 through its Anti-illegal Drugs Campaign Plan "Double Barrel." More than 600,000 drug personalities have also surrendered through the same program.

WATCH: PNP Chief to policemen: Do better

No one is spared

Dela Rosa vowed to find and sue police officers who are involved in the killings of drug suspects.

This is in reaction to the testimony of the second witness presented in the Senate hearing, whose father was killed in a police encounter.

Dela Rosa has denied police involvement in the vigilante killings, saying they are probing such deaths.

"Right now, these cases are considered under investigation. I am encouraging, pressuring my subordinate commanders to fast track the investigation," Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa said no one is spared from the anti-drug operations of the national police.

"'Yung atin pong kampanya sa droga ay walang pili. Mayaman ka man, mahirap ka man, pulis ka man o sibilyan, 'pag ikaw ay kasama sa droga, talagang in-operate-an ka namin," he said.

[Translation: "Our campaign against drugs spares no one. Where rich or poor, police or civilian, if you are involved with drugs, you're not spared from police operations."]

In the case of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., Dela Rosa explained the mayor was able to go back to work after surrendering because they don't have a warrant of arrest to detain Espinosa. 

"Siguro tanungin natin 'yung DILG kung anong status niya (Espinosa). Basta kami, on the criminal side, wala po kaming panghawakan para i-detain siya at pigilan siyang bumalik sa pagiging mayor,"

[Translation: "We can maybe ask the DILG about his (Espinosa) status. As for us, on the criminial side, we don't have anything concrete to detain him and forbid him from resuming his duties as mayor."]

However, when they served a search warrant in Espinosa's house, Dela Rosa said authorities found firearms, ₱88 million worth of shabu, among others.

'You stop the war on drugs'

The PNP chief lamented that there also policemen who die in line with their duty, saying that the rising number of deaths can only be stopped if President Rodrigo Duterte himself calls off the administration's war on drugs.

"Isa lang po ang susi nito lahat. Sana mag-order si President Duterte sa'min na 'You stop the war on drugs.' Pabayaan na lang natin 'yan. Kami po ay pagod na pagod na sa trabaho na ito. Marami na pong pulis ang namamatay," Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa insisted vigilante killings are still deaths under investigation, and it will be "unfair" to the Commander-in-Chief if he would just relieve the policemen from their posts when the campaign against illegal drugs is at its "momentum."

"Ayokong sabihin naman sa kanila na, 'I-re-relieve ko kayo dahil 'yung (vigilante) death under investigation niyo, hindi niyo nabigyan ng tuldok.' Samantalang nakikita ko naman, on the other side, na maganda naman ung takbo ng kanilang kampanya sa droga," Dela Rosa said.

[Translation: "I don't want to tell them, 'You will be relieved because the alleged vigilante death that you are involved in is still under investigation. When in fact, on the other side, I can see that their campaign against illegal drugs is doing well."]

"At na-fee-feel po ng mga taongbayan na nagiging safe po sila so unfair din sa aking Commander[-in-Chief] kung, right then and there, ay tatanggalin ko sila dahil sa death under investigation."

[Translation: "Filipinos feel that they are safe so it will be unfair to my Commander-in-Chief if, right then and there, I will relieve them from their posts because of a death under investigation."]