Dela Rosa says he wants drug suspects arrested, deaths due to retaliation vs cops
Buffeted by near-daily results by a private survey firm on the deaths in the government's war on drugs, the Philippine National Police reiterated they do not want any casualties in ridding the country of illegal drugs.
"A survey says 90 percent said they want arrested drug suspects alive but for me, I want 100 percent alive. Who likes to kill people anyway?, said PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa in a radio interview on Saturday.
Social Weather Stations surveys this week revealed 63 percent of respondents believe that drug suspects who surrendered were killed, three out of five Filipinos believe poor drug pushers are killed and that 90 percent say it is important drug suspects be captured alive.
Dela Rosa said 3,000 to 4,000 have died in police operations. "But how many have we arrested? We have arrested more than 10,000. These are all alive. Those who were killed fought back," said Dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa said the 88 policemen who were killed and the 300 cops injured during anti-drug operations are further proof the suspects fought back.
"It's clear that the drug pushers fought back in the buy-bust operation," he said. Dela Rosa said the PNP is punishing drug suspects, putting them to jail and charging them in court because police "do not like what they are doing."
Asked if other drug suspects were killed by other persons, Dela Rosa said :"It depends on the situation."
Dela Rosa said the death of Kian delos Santos in Caloocan is because police were "overeager".
Dela Rosa stressed that the drug war was launched because authorities "value life."
"We don't want many innocent people killed or young girls to be raped," he said. " We want them to change their lives that's why we launched Oplan Tokhang, (which means) knock and plead to tell drug personalities to stop and change their lives."
"We value life when we conduct buy-bust operations," he added.
Asked why there are not many drug suspects being rehabilitated in the multi-million peso facility in Nueva Ecija, Dela Rosa said it shows that community-based rehabilitation is working. "But if there is law saying that drug suspects who surrender must be rehabilitated, we will bring them to Nueva Ecija," he said. DMS