THE Philippine National Police leadership yesterday thanked President Duterte for giving them a six-month extension in the campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse which so far has resulted in the killing of more than 1,110 armed drug dealers in gunbattles with the police since July 1 and the arrest of nearly 18,000 others.
PNP chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa said they did not ask for an extension in the campaign against illegal drugs but still was thankful the Commander-in-Chief gave them additional time to finish their job.
“I did not ask for an extension but the extension is better so that we finish this properly. We’re thankful because we were given additional time,” Gen. de la Rosa said before he flew to Colombia to lead a PNP delegation which will discuss with their Colombian counterparts their respective anti-drug campaigns.
The President announced he needs an extension of another six months on his self-imposed deadline of three to six months to solve the crime and drugs problem and begged the public’s indulgence.
The top cop however said he believes that the President saw the difficulties they are facing in their campaign against drugs, thus the extended period. “He saw that we were having a difficult time,” he said while vowing a relentless and aggressive campaign against drugs during the extension period.
PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Dionardo B. Carlos said there would be no let-up in the anti-illegal drugs campaign. “We will continue this campaign on orders by our Commander-in-Chief and Chief, PNP, Director General Ronald de la Rosa,” Carlos said in a statement.
“The PNP is focused on the task of waging war on drugs, criminality and internal cleansing as ordered by the President in the given period whether its 6 months, 1 year or 6 years,” he added.
As of 6 a.m. yesterday, PNP records showed that a total of 1,152 armed drug suspects have been killed in firefights with arresting officers while 17,759 others have been arrested in 18,616 operations conducted across the country.
During the period, PNP operatives also visited 1,061,23 houses in line with their implementation of the Oplan: Tokhang and Project: Double Barrel resulting in the surrender of 715,393 confessed drug personalities broken down into 662,302 shabu and marijuana users and 53,091 drug traffickers.
Slain rookie cop
On Sunday, Gen. de la Rosa paid his last respects to the late Police Officer 1 Romeo L. Mandapat Jr., a member of the Caloocan City Police Station who died in an encounter with an armed drug pusher last Friday.
Before leaving for Colombia, the PNP chief visited Mandapat’s wake at the PNP Mortuary Chapel in Camp Crame and handed over an initial P100,000 financial aid to the bereaved family representing his Personal Financial Assistance to the hero cop’s surviving family.
The 24-year old Mandapat was part of a police team that was implementing Oplan Sama-Sama, a one-time, big-time anti-drug operations in Caloocan City when he was shot to death by their main target, security guard Jerson Maturan in Sampaloc Street, Barangay 178, Camarin area 2 a.m. last Friday, said Northern Police District director, Senior Superintendent Roberto B. Fajardo.