MANILA- For the second time, President Rodrigo Duterte has turned down the resignation of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronaldo 'Bato' dela Rosa and instead ordered him to eradicate scalawags and criminals in the police force.
Dela Rosa offered anew to quit his post to "protect the image of the PNP" following the abduction and slay of Korean executive Jee Ick Joo right inside the PNP's headquarters at Camp Crame.
"Bato offered to resign yesterday. But I declined his retirement because it would not contribute anything," the President said in a late evening press conference after attending a joint command conference with PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Sunday at the Malacanang Palace.
President Duterte said Dela Rosa was one of his trusted men behind his successful fight against criminality and illegal drugs in Davao City where he served as mayor for 23 years before his accession to the presidency.
"I was just facing the reality that nothing good will happen if I will remove him and more reason for us to do more. And the correct way to do it, if I may say so, is to go after the persons who have perpetrated the crime," the President explained.
Due to the Korean kidnap-slay case, President Duterte also ordered Dela Rosa to clean the PNP of corrupt and criminals.
"If there are these scalawags and criminals inside Crame, they will continue with or without Bato. That's why you police, you are the most corrupt. You are corrupt to the core. It's in your system because you are the only one who can go outside," the President said.
"Given the power to enforce the law and to arrest persons, you're using it in foolishness because you, not all policemen, it's about 40 percent of you guys are really used to corruption," he added.
The President tagged Superintendent Rafael Dumlao as the mastermind in the kidnapping and murder of Jee.
President Duterte gave Dumlao 24 hours to surrender and even offered PHP5 million bounty for his arrest "dead or alive."
Dela Rosa, who also attended the press conference, approached the President and informed him that Dumlao has just returned at Camp Crame after he reportedly slipped out on Saturday after the police failed to serve an arrest warrant against him.
"He has to be investigated because of the gravity of the charges. I think Dumlao is insane. How he became lawyer. If I were Dumlao, I'd stay inside the prison. It will be a pity if his wife will become widow and his children will lose their father," the President said.
"The investigators are telling me that he is indeed who masterminded. It's a conspiracy actually. So maybe, equal criminal responsibility," he added.
Dumlao has been accused by SPO3 Rickey Sta. Isabel, the main suspect, according to the PNP, as the one who gave orders to kill the Korean businessman.
"Also this SPO3 Sta. Isabel. He is already in heaven (because of his family name) but jump to the hell. How he could have raised PHP20 million in his life. I'm not trying to derogate his family but I will order to check his lifestyles," the President said.
President Duterte also gave the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 48 hours to surrender its three assets allegedly linked to the Korean's slay.
The President offered a reward of PHP1 million for each of the NBI agents if they fail to show up, adding failure to surrender would lead to the removal of NBI Director Dante Gierran.
"I just give them maybe 48 hours, and if they cannot be relocated, it would be dereliction of duty on the part of the NBI officials," he said.
The President said a PNP oversight committee will be created to look into the policemen who have been dismissed but fixed their way back to duty.
"There shall be special unit who will keep track of the police who have been removed from services because of wrongdoing. Many of them have arrest warrants for kidnapping," he said.
The President Duterte likened the police scalawags and criminals to drug lords who continued to destroy the country and the future of many Filipinos.
In conjunction with the cleansing of PNP ranks, President Duterte said he would also asked Congress to revisit the PNP law to simplify the police titles and units.
"I will abolish SPO1, SPO2. I will ask the House Speaker, senators and congressmen to return to like police patrolman or police major. I will also revive narcotics command, theft and robbery or homicide divisions," the President said.
He explained the creation of a PNP anti-narcotics command, in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), will lead to the abolition of the different local police anti-drug units. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency