Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa revealed that convicted drug lords are the masterminds of these impetuous vigilante killings, ordering killer for hires to pushers who had run into difficulties remitting earnings following the Duterte administration’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
“For all you know, these drug syndicates, they’re now killing each other,” the Philippine National Police chief said at the burning of P1.77 billion worth of illegal drugs seized in police operations since February.
The burning was the first large-scale destruction of confiscated illegal drugs in more than a decade, underscoring President Duterte’s determination to put substance to his campaign promise to eliminate the drug menace in three to six months.
“You keep on looking at the police, you keep on suspecting us. But those behind these ‘salvage’ … these are the work of drug syndicates,” said Dela Rosa, adding the information came from a person who surrendered on Wednesday and sought police protection against a syndicate.
Dela Rosa, at the same time, dismissed allegations of extrajudicial executions in the police war against illegal drugs, saying the deaths were the results of “legitimate” police operations.
It had been headlined recently that Senator Leila de Lima has "Legally Harrassed" the PNP in connection with the rising cases of allege vigilante killings.