- Title: Philippine police chief fights back tears, vows to fight corruption
- Date: 23rd November 2016
- Summary: MANILA, PHILIPPINES (NOVEMBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF PHILIPPINE SENATE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CHIEF RONALD DELA ROSA TAKING OATH AND SITTING DOWN SENATE HEARING IN PROGRESS DELA ROSA SPEAKING SAT NEXT TO ARRESTED DRUG LORD KERWIN ESPINOSA (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino/English) PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CHIEF, RONALD DELA ROSA, CRYING AND SAYING: "Your Honor, I'm putting our situation at the PNP (Philippine National Police) up to God. I really just want to reform the PNP so that we can straighten up our organization, but I am really finding it difficult. But I will never surrender." SENATE HEARING IN PROGRESS POLICE OFFICIALS SPEAKING DELA ROSA SPEAKING BESIDE ESPINOSA (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino) ARRESTED DRUG LORD, KERWIN ESPINOSA, SAYING: "During that time, when he called me, he said ma'am Leila needed funds for her 2016 election campaign." ESPINOSA SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino) ARRESTED DRUG LORD, KERWIN ESPINOSA, SAYING: INVESTIGATOR SPEAKING: "How much money did you give for ma'am Leila?" "I completed what Ronnie wanted: 8 million before elections." INVESTIGATOR SPEAKING: "At that time, did you ask for anything in exchange from ma'am Leila?" "I did not ask for anything because I had no problem with my drug business in my area, but I think the money was paid to the Philippine National Police to make me untouchable, especially in my area of operations." SENATORS SPEAKING PHILIPPINE SENATOR LEILA DE LIMA SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino/English) PHILIPPINE SENATOR, LEILA DE LIMA, SAYING: "Mr. Kerwin Espinosa knows that the part of his testimony about me having received money, having talked to him, having met him anywhere, whether it's Burnham, anywhere, are total fabrication. To me, that portion of his testimony is under gun point, under duress." DE LIMA SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHILIPPINE SENATOR, LEILA DE LIMA, SAYING: "May God forgive you for all your lies about me, and I forgive you." SENATE HEARING IN PROGRESS ESPINOSA STANDING UP ESPINOSA LEAVING SESSION HALL
- Embargoed: 8th December 2016 15:38
- Keywords: Ronald Dela Rosa Rodrigo Duterte Leila de Lima Senate hearing drugs extrajudicial killing
- Location: MANILA, PHILIPPINES
- City: MANILA, PHILIPPINES
- Country: Philippines
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00159O1KXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Philippines' police chief broke down before a Senate inquiry on Wednesday (November 23) and vowed to stand by President Rodrigo Duterte and his deadly war on drugs, after a narcotics kingpin testified to entrenched police involvement in the illicit trade.
Amid high drama in the televised hearing, an emotional Ronald dela Rosa held back as he promised to rid police ranks of crooked elements.
"I really just want to reform the PNP so that we can straighten up our organization, but I am really finding it difficult. But I will never surrender," he said.
Dela Rosa, celebrity-like general nicknamed "Bato" (Rock), was responding to hours of testimony from Kerwin Espinosa, a confessed drugs dealer and son of a mayor who was shot dead last month by police while in prison on remand for narcotics links.
Espinosa, who arrived at the hearing wearing a flak jacket, confessed to dealing in drugs and to paying police protection money. He accused two generals and numerous officers on his turf of complicity.
Espinosa also pinned down Senator Leila de Lima, Duterte's most vocal critic and the one who first led the investigation on his drug war.
Duterte has humiliated de Lima during speeches, accusing her of adultery, making a sex tape of her affair with her driver and bagman, and even recommending she hangs herself.
De Lima has petitioned the Supreme Court to muzzle Duterte.
Though she has admitted to the affair, she has rejected testimony by a string of criminals linking her to drugs deals.
De Lima said that she thinks Espinosa made his testimony about her under duress.
"Mr. Kerwin Espinosa knows that the part of his testimony about me having received money, having talked to him, having met him anywhere, whether it's Burnham, anywhere, are total fabrication," she said.
Close to 2,500 people were killed in the first four months of Duterte's presidency, mostly in police operations and others by suspected vigilantes.
Duterte has resolutely defended the police and is outraged by Western and activist concerns that extrajudicial killings could be taking place.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None