- President denied rights group’s claim of cops being paid to kill drug suspects
- He said police use the money to catch drug pushers in buy-bust operations
- He acknowledged instance of cops pocketing the money, tasked Bato with investigating
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte denied Amnesty International (AI)’s claim of the government paying policemen to kill drug suspects; saying the money he gives them is meant for buy-bust operations only.
“I gave them P150 million for this year. Do you know why? They are out to arrest drug traffickers. If they do not have money, whoever you arrest, there can be no buy-and-sell of drugs so it’s not trafficking. Maybe possession if you conduct arrest,” the Philippine Star quoted him as saying.
“They go out to buy then arrest them because that is really trafficking, buy and sell of drugs. Kung walang pera ‘yan, ano bibili nila? Bayag nila? [If they don’t have money, what would they use to buy drugs? Their balls]?” he asked.
Duterte, however, acknowledged that some rogue policemen may have pocketed the money for themselves while killing the pushers and then reselling their products. He tasked PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa with investigating this modus operandi.
“It is now up to Bato to make an accounting of where the money went, was it spent? And what was the scheme?” he said.
The president also challenged AI to back up their claims with hard evidence if they want to pin his administration down.
“This Amnesty is naive and so stupid. Why would we kill people? Ano itong gobyernong ito, tagapatay na parang aso [Do they think this government kills people like dogs]? There has to be a reason. Find out the reason and find out the truth,” he said.