Duterte to CHR: Crime or human life?

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President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the oath-taking ceremony for newly-promoted generals and flag officers at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan on August 23. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the oath-taking ceremony for newly-promoted generals and flag officers at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan on August 23. (MNS photo)

CAMP GENERAL MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal  (PNA) – President Rodrigo Duterte urged the Commission on Human Rights to consider the safety of the 104 million Filipinos before criticizing his intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign.

”Itong mga human rights, mamili kayo: Is it the comfort and safety of the population? Or the lives of criminals?” President said in his speech before the more than 300 soldiers belonging to 2nd Infantry Division of Philippine Army here.

President Duterte said illegal drug is destroying the country and “there’s always a price to pay.”

”Itong mga… those who are pag magkaharap itong mga ganito, lumalaki ‘yung bunganga pati ‘yung ulo eh and they talk nonsense,” the President said.

Police have reported that over 700 drug pushers and users have been killed already in legitimate police operations since aggressive war against drug started almost two months ago.

”We are supposed to protect the integrity of our Republic and the safety of the citizens there,” the President said.

Meanwhile, Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said that the agency has witnesses to provide the evidence against Senator Leila De Lima and former DoJ Undersecretary Francisco Baraan link to the illegal drug trade in New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

However, Aguirre said the agency did not go into details on what evidence they have against de Lima and Baraan but they would present it when the House of Representatives started its inquiry on the issue.

“There are several witnesses who are already executing their sworn statements as of now. For the house investigation where we will present our witnesses, these will be the house investigation on the proliferation of prohibited drugs at NBP,” Aguirre told reporters after the culminating activity of the European Union-Philippines Justice Support Programme held in Pasig City.

President Rodrigo Duterte administers the oath of office of newly-promoted generals and flag officers at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan on August 23. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte administers the oath of office of newly-promoted generals and flag officers at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan on August 23. (MNS photo)

He noted that the DoJ has five or six sworn statements against De Lima which all involves the cause of the proliferation and the neglect that they did why the drugs proliferated in the NBP.

“Well I’ve been saying we are not focusing our investigation to any particular individual but definitely when I say that we are investigating ex officials of DoJ that include the highest to the lowest as long as we could show that there is probable cause against them. We are going to file the necessary charges,” he added.

The DOJ chief said one of their witnesses also linked de Lima’s driver-bodyguard Ronnie Palisoc Dayan to the operation of the illegal drugs trade, adding that he collected drug money from high-profile drug lords currently detained at the national penitentiary.

President Rodrigo Duterte receives commemorative stamps featuring his presidential inauguration after the 5th Cabinet meeting in Malacañan’s State Dining Room on August 22. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte receives commemorative stamps featuring his presidential inauguration after the 5th Cabinet meeting in Malacañan’s State Dining Room on August 22. (MNS photo)

“He collects drug money from high profile drug lords, even after the elections, the two were seen in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, this was about June after the elections,” said Aguirre.

Aguirre also said he could not yet answer how much de Lima received from her driver.

“But perhaps when the investigation is already nearing its end, we will have some figures already,” he added.

Aguirre said so far the profilers who submitted their sworn statements were only the lieutenants of high-profile drug lords or the bagmen while some inmates and guards are linking de Lima to the illegal activity.

For Baraan issue, Aguirre said information provided by the witnesses said the former DoJ undersecretary was also receiving money but he cautioned that these individuals hadyet to execute affidavit against the former undersecretary.

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