MANILA, Philippines – Gen. Ronald dela Rosa believed his men when members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) guarding the National Bilibid Prison denied in front of their chief that they had a hand in the resurgence of the illegal drug trade at the NBP.
“You look at me straight in my eyes. Sumagot kayo sa akin ng lalaki sa lalaking usapan. Totoo ba ang allegation na bumabalik ang droga sa Bilibid at ibang kasamahan natin dito sa SAF…involved sa pagbabalik sa droga?” Dela Rosa asked members of the elite force on Wednesday when he went to the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City to confront them.
[Answer me in a man-to-man conversation. Is it true that drugs have returned in Bilibid and that some of our men here from the SAF are involved in the resurgence of drugs?]
“No Sir!,” the SAF troopers answered in unison.
Dela Rosa told them that since the narcotics trade is an industry worth billions of pesos, it is expected that those involved in the illegal business would try to get back at authorities by blocking their anti-drug efforts and and destroying their reputation.
“This is drugs, billion-peso na industry na nasisira dahil sa ating effort. Normal lang na reresbakan tayo. Sisirain tayo,” the PNPO chief told SAF troopers.
“I am willing to go to jail kung kayo’y nagtatrabaho lang [if you are just doing your job]. Sasamahan ko kayo sa kulungan [I will accompany you in jail.]
Nonetheless, Dela Rosa warned members of the elite force that he would go berserk if it would be proven that they are indeed involved in the revival of the drug trade at the NBP.
“What do you expect sa taong broken-hearted? Magwawala ako…magdadala ako ng dalawang itak ni Lapu-Lapu, hurementaduhin ko itong SAF na nandito kung totoo talaga na sila ay gumawa ng gano’n.”
[What do you expect from a broken-hearted person? I will be mad…I will bring Lapu-Lapu’s two bolos, go berserk against SAF members here if it would be proven that the accusations against them are true.]
Earlier, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said his office had received reports that some SAF members deployed to NBP had a hand in the resurgence of the illegal drug business at the high-security prison.
According to Aguirre, some members of the second SAF contingent that replaced the first group after three months and who have been watching over the NBP for more than six months now are the ones allegedly involved in the narcotics trade with inmates.
On Wednesday, Dela Rosa advised SAF troopers not to harbor ill feelings towards the DOJ chief.
READ RELATED STORY: Illegal drug trade in Bilibid grows back allegedly involving PNP-SAF troopers