• PNP Dir. Gen. Richard dela Rosa says he is against vigilantes
  • He emphasized the importance of police doing “legitimate operations”
  • He warned policemen not to abuse their authority in the PNP’s crackdown on crime and drugs

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald dela Rosa, nicknamed “Bato”, expressed his opposition to vigilantes taking justice into their own hands as he and his men have begun to implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs and crime.

Over 120 drug suspects, including alleged top bosses in the narcotics trade in Cebu and Bohol, have been killed since Duterte won the May 9 presidential elections.

However, despite dela Rosa promising “more to come” as police intensify their anti-drugs campaign, he emphasized that they will be mounting  “legitimate” operations only as human rights groups fear that vigilante killings would also rise.

Ayaw ko vigilante. Gusto ko legitimate police operation lang ang mangyayari. Pag ganung papasok mga vigilante, ano mangyayari? [I do no like vigilantes. I want only legitimate police operations to take place. If it would be the case that vigilantes would enter, what would happen?] Anybody can be killed anytime without due process,” he explained to ABS-CBN News.

Dela Rosa explained that many of the drug suspects killed were shot because they resisted arrest and fought back with the police.

He warned his fellow policemen, however, not to abuse their authority and to do their job right.

Ayusin nila trabaho nila. Dapat malinis trabaho nila na hindi sila gagawa ng kalokohan. Kahit ano gawin mo sarswela diyan makalusot ka sa mata ng tao, sa mata ng Diyos hindi ka makakalusot. Isipin mo accountability mo, hindi lang sa lupa kundi after death may accountability ka. [They should do their job well. Their work should be clean wherein they wouldn’t do foolishness. No matter what theatrics you do that could pass off in the eyes of men, in the eyes of God, you couldn’t pass. Thing of your accountability not only on earth but even after death],” he said.