MANILA - Senator Richard Gordon on Tuesday scored the Philippine National Police for failing to stop summary executions conducted by vigilante groups despite having P3.8 billion in intelligence funds.
Gordon called for the creation of an oversight congressional committee that will task PNP chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa to reveal how the PNP is spending the P3.8 billion in intel funds.
"Maipatatawag ng Kongreso iyan (PNP officials) kasama si General Dela Rosa, ipaliwanag nyo nga sa amin iyan kung bakit mayroon kayong P3.8 billion na intelligence fund, saan niyo dinadala iyan? Bakit hindi nahuhuli ng mga tao n'yo iyang pumapatay?" he told radio DZMM.
(The Congress could summon PNP officials, including General Dela Rosa, and order them to explain how they have spent their P3.8-billion intelligence funds. Why have you failed to arrest the killers?)
Gordon, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice, said the PNP has no excuse for its "apathetic" and "unmotivated" probe of the killings as it could always appeal for additional funds to hire more investigators.
"Ang nakikita ko hindi pursigido e. 'Pag tiningnan mo ang report, parang apathetic ang mga pulis... Kulang ang mga imbestigador, iyun ang sabi nila -- 74,000 lang ang imbestigador nila kaya hindi sila makapag-solve ng kaso. E bakit, ika ko, hindi kayo humihingi ng budget para malagyan iyan,"
(I see that they are not motivated. When you look at their reports, it seems that our police is apathetic. They said they lack investigators -- they only have 74,000 investigators so they could not solve all cases. I said why did you not ask for more funds then?)
He also reminded the public, "We should not tolerate any kind of killing. Killing is killing, it's murder."
More than 6,100 people have been killed in the past six months during Duterte's controversial war on drugs, about a third in police operations and others classified as deaths under investigation (DUIs). Many DUIs were committed by motorcycle-riding assailants in slum areas.
Metro Manila alone tallied over 1,000 DUIs, 200 of which have been solved, according to Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the region's police.
"Mayroon na po tayong na-neutralize sa mga pumapatay na ito. At ito (mga kaso) po ay nasa korte na lahat," Albayalde said.
The National Capital Region Police Office, he added, will also investigate what police chiefs are doing to prevent vigilante attacks in their areas.
For its part, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to create a special task force of policemen and prosecutors to investigate the deaths of innocent individuals dubbed "collateral damage" in the government's anti-narcotics campaign.
"Nagkaroon kami ng initial assessment na mukhang marami nga talagang nadadamay na tinatawag nga ni President Duterte na collateral damage and we call collateral victims -- iyung mga nako-cross fire, mga napagkakamalan," Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chairman Dante Jimenez told radio DZMM.