Palace slams senator for linking solon's death to gov't fight vs illegal drugs
Malacanang slammed opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan for associating the death of AKO Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe to the administration's fight against illegal drugs calling it "grossly irresponsible and utterly unfair".
In a statement released on Monday, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the opposition is running out of issues to the point that its members are "running berserk" in their accusation against President Rodrigo Duterte.
"First, we strongly condemn the brazen and senseless killing of Rep. Batocabe. To associate his death to the current government’s campaign against illegal drugs is grossly irresponsible and utterly unfair," Panelo said.
Pangilinan in his Facebook post said the " daily killings was touted by the Duterte administration as the solution to our country's ills, that the more killed in the drug war, the better".
"For every kill, reward money was given by the government. Impunity and police abuse became the order of business," he added.
Panelo said "daily killings" that the senator attribute to the Duterte administration are not state-sanctioned.
"We reiterate that the President does not - and will never - condone extrajudicial and vigilante killings. Accountability remains a core of good governance and PRRD has made clear his stance relative thereto. Legitimate operations must follow protocols and authorities have the right to protect themselves from suspects who resist arrest and put up a violent fight that endanger their lives," he said.
He said Duterte wants to eliminates such kind of heinous crime and it's only the opposition who speak against the president's relentless drive to end the drug menace instead of supporting it.
"Finally, we always stress that any violation committed by arresting state agents, including those who abuse authority, would be dealt with accordingly, as exemplified in the case of Kian de los Santos where three erring policemen were arrested and subsequently convicted," he added.
Panelo said the remarks of the senator are not only intellectually challenged but infinitely reckless as well.
He said it is an obvious attempt at gaining political mileage to boost the chances of its senatorial candidates for the coming mid-term elections.
"Using the death of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe for such purpose however is a blatant disrespect to his memory," Panelo said. Ella Dionisio/DMS