NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office director Chief Supt. Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said that nearly 26,000 confessed drug traffickers and users in Metro Manila have surrendered to local police and government authorities since last July 1.
“We have convinced these people thru our own implementation of the PP Oplan: Tokhang or Katok-Pakiusap to undergo voluntary rehabilitation and join the mainstream of the society as law-abiding people,” said Albayalde.
The classmate at the Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 of Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa said that from July 1 to last Sunday, NCRPO agents have shot dead 168 armed drug traffickers who resisted arrest and engaged lawmen in shootouts.
Of the number, 66 were killed in gunbattles with the Manila Police District headed by Senior Supt. Joel Napoleon Coronel, 37 by the Northern Police District under Senior Supt. Roberto Fajardo, 29 by the Quezon City Police District headed by Senior Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, 20 by the Southern Police District under Senior Supt. Tomas Apolinario, and 16 by the Eastern Police District headed by Senior Supt. Romulo Sapitula.
Gen. Dela Rosa said that armed drug traffickers are being killed since they have decided to fight it out with the police. “Matamaan na ’yung matamaan, wala tayong pinipili,” the top cop said while explaining that statistically, there are really more poor drug dealers than rich drug lords.
“Talagang mas maraming mahirap na involved sa droga, kakaunti lang itong mga drug lord na nagpapa-run sa businesss saka mahirap talaga makuha dahil very complicated ’yung situation, so mas marami talagang matamaan na mababang tao,” he said.
Gen. Dela Rosa also explained how the rights of the police and the rights of the drug personalities weigh against each other and defended his men from allegations they have been resorting to short-cuts and violating human rights.
“We belong to an organization which fully observes standard procedures and protect human rights. I don’t care kung may mamatay diyan, basta ang importante, nasunod ’yan, and ang importante dyan, buhay ’yung pulis natin, hindi ’yung criminal ’yung buhay,” he said. “After the smoke is cleared, ang importante, nakatayo ’yung pulis, ’yung criminal ang tumba,” he said noting a number of policemen who have been killed while going after armed and dangerous criminals and drug dealers.
The latest policeman to be killed in the line of duty was SPO4 Edmar B. Bumagat of the NCRPO Regional Police Intelligence Operations Unit who was killed while trying to arrest Angelo Tampos, a known drug pusher and professional hitman in Makati City on Wednesday last week. Colleauges of SPOP4 Bumagat returned fire and shot dead Tampos, according to Albayalde.