[Video] Bato stands by cops in secret jail cell snafu, calls for due process in probe

  • PNP chief defended cops who maintained a secret jail cell for inmates
  • He said while he did not condone their actions, he said inmates were not hurt
  • He also said cops responsible under probe, to face punishment if warranted

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s top cop defended policemen of Manila Police Station 1 in Tondo over the discovery of a secret jail even as he maintained he was not condoning their actions.

“Hindi ko sila kunukunsinti. Sinasabi ko lang na walang ginawa na masama dahil ‘di nangotong, ‘di nananakit, at ‘di lumagpas reglementary period ‘yung kanilang pagkakakulong so anong masama doon? ‘Di ko kinukunsinti,” Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa told ABS-CBN.

[I am not condoning them. I’m just saying they did nothing wrong because they did not extort or torture, and neither did the reglementary period expire, so what’s bad about that? I am not condoning them.]

At the same time, Dela Rosa called for restraint and said the policemen who were subsequently relieved and currently under probe will nevertheless face punishment for their actions if warranted.

“In fact, na-relieve na yung mga tao doon para ma-imbestigahan. Ongoing ‘yung kanilang investigation. Kung ma-find out ngayon na talagang viniolate nila ‘yung batas tungkol sa pagkulong ng prineso, outside, aside doon sa recognized na presuhan then pananagutan nila ‘yan dahil mali ‘yung ginawa nila. Kahit ang depensa nila na, ‘sir ginawa lang namin ‘yan, diskarte namin ‘yan dahil masikip na talaga, wala nang lugar’ then you have to defend yourself. I-defend n’yo sa korte ‘yan kung kasuhan kayo,” he said.

[In fact, the people there have already been relieved so they could be investigated. Their investigation is ongoing. If we find out they violated the law regarding the detention of prisoners aside from keeping them in recognizes prisons then they will have to answer for that because they did wrong. Even if their defense is ‘sir, we only did that because the prison was already full’ then you have to defend yourself. You’ll have to defend yourselves in court if a case is filed against you.]