MANILA (Mabuhay) — Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella reiterated Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte does not condone extrajudicial killings, and has in fact, ordered the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) to look into such.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte repeatedly epxressed that he does not condone extrajudicial killings. However, he has also admitted that certain individuals may have been salvaged,” Abella said during a press briefing in Malacañang.
“But in light of this, the NAPOLCOM [National Police Commission] share, the DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] Sec. Ismael Sueno has already directed PNP [Philippine National Police Chief Gen. [Ronald] dela Rosa to investigate drug-related killings,” he added.
Abella’s remarks came after the United States reacted to the spate of killings of drug suspects in the Philippines and Duterte’s naming of government officials supposedly with links to the illegal drug trade.
“We believe in due process. We believe in respect for universal human rights,” State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said.
Over 400 suspected drug personalities have been killed since Duterte took office on June 30. A Senate resolution has been filed to look into these killings.
At the same press briefing, Abella said Duterte is unhappy with the surge in drug-related killings.
“I don’t think he is happy about it. I hardly think happiness is the right word to be used. I think he is very concerned. In fact, he is bothered and troubled,” he said.
If there is one thing that the President is “happy” about, it would be because more Filipinos are aware of how the proliferation of drugs have affected the country.
“If there is anything at all, it is the fact that the people are now aware of the depth and breadth of the clear and present danger of the drug menace. But no, he is not happy. He is deeply and profoundly concerned,” Abella said.
Just last week, Duterte said he does not care about the rising drug-related death toll because he said those who were killed tried to resist arrest and put up a fight against police officers. (MNS)