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Alejano to Bato: So what if I’m not police? I’m a congressman

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Magdalo partylist Rep. Gary Alejano on Sunday twitted Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa after the latter said he had no understanding of the drug war as he came from the Navy.

“I am not speaking as a Navy Marine officer but as a legislator. Thus, having oversight functions, it is my mandate to ensure that different agencies of government are doing their job according to the budget allocated to them,” the former Navy captain said.

The Magnificent 7 lawmaker responded to Dela Rosa’s remarks questioning his knowledge of police operations after Alejano issued a statement about patterns in the Oplan Tokhang encounters that led to bloodshed.

Dela Rosa had said, “Hindi kasi niya alam ‘yan eh, kasi Navy siya, hindi siya pulis. Hindi niya alam ‘yan na ‘yung transaction ng droga ay nangyayari sa gabi…sa madilim sa lugar.

Congressman Alejano, I’m very sorry to tell you na hindi mo alam yung pattern dahil you’re a Navy officer, hindi ka pulis,” Dela Rosa said during the 2018 Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming.

But Alejano said it was his “duty to check and balance the actions of the administration, especially now when PNP and other concerned agencies are withholding vital information on the matter.”

“Even an ordinary Filipino has a duty to know and demand accountability from the government. One does not have to be a police,” he added.

“The observations that I shared to the public regarding police anti-illegal drugs operations that resulted to deaths were based on empirical data culled from the spot reports provided by PNP itself and were not plucked out of thin air. The intention is to review the implementation of the main policy of this administration in order to address its flaws and shortcomings which have already resulted to tens of thousands of deaths,” Alejano said.

He said he respected Dela Rosa as a police officer, but “I must remind him that he is a servant of the Filipino people whom he swore to serve and protect regardless whether one is a victim or a suspect. His loyalty must be to the Constitution for he is not a private army of one man.”

“I hope there is reason to continue to believe that General Dela Rosa is the Chief of PNP, rather than the chief implementer of a policy of killings in the country,” Alejano said.