On Friday, November 11, President Rodrigo Duterte stated in a televised press conference in Davao City following his visit to Malaysia that he believes in the account of the CIDG-8 officials.
“I believe the police’s version of the story. Until it is proven otherwise.”
Duterte claims, “Kasi utos ko ito. This war against drugs is mine. Nobody else ordered it,” which is why he is siding with the police involved in the operations.
The president reiterated what he assured the cops in the past – he would protect those who are involved in the operations against drugs.
Former PNP chief, Senator Panfilo Lacson, was able to identify numerous loopholes in the policemen’s testimonies which helped reinforce the extrajudicial killing theory on Espinosa’s death.
Duterte, then, dares the Senate to prove this case in court saying, “If they have evidence to prove otherwise, then a case must be filed.”
“If anybody should go to prison, I should be the one. I assume full legal responsibility. If I rot in prison so be it,” the President said expressing his willingness to be accountable for the policemen who were only doing their jobs.
Duterte also guaranteed that Kerwin Espinosa would be able to return from the United Arab Emirates in order to testify “kasi marami siyang alam.”
Lacson said on Thursday that Kerwin should be provided security by the administration if they were serious in identifying his protectors in the government and be able to “live to tell his story.”
To which the president will comply with as he stated he will be providing Kerwin security, even joking that, “Ano’ng gusto mo, ihulog na lang sa Pacific Ocean?”
Sources: (rappler.com, gmanetwork.com)