IT is reassuring to note that hard-hitting President Rodrigo R. Duterte will not interfere with any legal proceedings to be brought against police officers and men who are accused of wrongdoing.
Malacañang officials were quick to stress that Duterte’s support for the cops who killed Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was only aimed at boosting the morale of the men and women in police uniform.
And people are made to believe that the Chief Executive’s support does not in any way mean undermining the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The Palace officials issued the assurance after President Duterte said he would help the policemen involved in the killing of Espinosa and fellow inmate Raul Yap last November 5.
Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag denied allegations that Duterte’s defense of the beleaguered cops was tantamount to influencing the outcome of the NBI probe.
The NBI had already concluded that the killing of Espinosa and Yap was a “rubout” and not a “shootout.”
“Malinaw naman ang sinabi ng Pangulo that if you have the evidence, charge them (policemen) and that’s what the NBI has done,” said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
Aguirre said that Duterte’s statement may have been another case of the latter’s penchant to use hyperbole or exaggeration to get his point across.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella, on the other hand, said that Duterte’s statement does not mean that he will interfere with due process.
“It should not be misinterpreted to mean that the President will intervene in investigations or any legal proceedings in order to exculpate erring cops,” added Abella.
Of course, let’s not forget an axiom in law that it is better to let a guilty man go free than jail an innocent suspect.