MANILA – The number of ‘ninja cops’ has drastically reduced to four.
So said President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night on the number of police personnel or officials who allegedly remain involved in the resale of illegal drugs seized in anti-drug operations.
President Duterte announced this during a speech in Malacañan Palace but did not identify the names of these so-called “ninja cops.”
“Yung mga (these) generals pati (and) ninja cops, they are still around but reduced to about apat nalang (just four),” Duterte said before newly-elected officers and Board of Trustees of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).
Duterte, however, expressed confidence that these errant cops would not live long.
“And they will all die because may kasalanan sila sa bayan (because they have sinned against the country),” he added.
He said even if he no longer holds the government’s top post, he would not think twice about shooting them.
“Same, whether I’m President or an ordinary [citizen], pag nagkita tayo at alam kong galit ka sakin dahil sa droga, magbabarilan talaga tayo (If we see each other and I know you’re mad at me because of illegal drugs, we will really have a shoot-off),” Duterte said.
In November last year, Duterte admitted that he might have been blindsided on the ninja cops’ case in Pampanga in 2013 where former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, was implicated before his appointment as the country’s top cop.
Because of the issue, it took Duterte around three months to name Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa as the next PNP chief, stressing that he had hard time choosing Albayalde’s replacement.
Duterte, meanwhile, slammed human rights groups for criticizing the killings linked to his aggressive crackdown on illegal drugs.
“They are just worried about a dead carcass there. They do not even know kung talagang pinatay ‘yan ng pulis o ano (if they were really killed by police). Of course, there are exceptions pero karamihan ng namatay diyan, pag walang ano sabihin nila extrajudicial killing (but majority of those killed there, they just tag them as extrajudicial killings),” Duterte said.
He, however, admitted that there were over 5,000 deaths that resulted from the anti-narcotics campaign.
“Kung sinabi napatay natin (If they say we killed) 5,000 so be it. We admit it, 5,000. Pero wag naman yung (But not) 70,000. Saan ko ilibing ‘yan? (Where would I bury them)?” he said.
A total of 151,601 legitimate anti-drug operations conducted since Duterte assumed office until November 30 this year have also led to the arrest of 220,728 drug personalities and the deaths of some 5,552 drug suspects, according to the government’s data released on December 2019. (Iamigo/sovereignph.com/With reports from PNA)