Day of reckoning

Duterte, incoming PNP chief strike back amid reported bounty on their heads
INCOMING PNP director general, Chief Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, said they already have the identity of alleged drug lords who put bounties on his and President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s heads.

But dela Rosa did not disclose the names of the drug lords in order to avoid preempting the operation to be launched against them. Dela Rosa was a guest at the turnover of command ceremonies at the Camp Domingo Leonor last Friday.

Duterte, who will take his oath in Malacanang as the country’s 16th president on June 30, also gave his own counter-offer for the lives of those who put up the bounty on his head. He said that if the offer was P50 million, he would up the reward to P60 million. An offer for P100 million would be raised to P150 million, he added.

“Slaughter them,” Duterte said.

Earlier reports have pointed to known drug lords in New Bilibid Prisons as the masterminds behind the alleged bounty. Dela Rosa confirmed the report earlier this month where he told the national media that he received information about the P10 million bounty on each of their heads.

Duterte has slammed the present administration, particularly the former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, for allowing drug personalities to continue to lord it over in the country’s largest maximum security cell.

The New Bilibid Prisons has been wracked with controversy when the NBI raided the facility and found drug dealers cooking shabu right in their prison cells. They also found, among others, sex toys, jacuzzis, big-screen television sets and even a music studio.

The incoming President also vowed to have De Lima investigated because the scandal occurred during her time as justice secretary. The two have been at loggerheads even from the time when De Lima was still the Commission on Human Rights chair, and ordered an investigation into Duterte’s alleged role in the series of killings in Davao City.

No mass release

Meanwhile, incoming President Rodrigo R. Duterte clarified that there would be no mass release of prisoners belonging to the New People’s Army without the permission of Congress.

This, amid intentions from both sides of the next administration and the Communist Party of the Philippines of renewed talks after preliminary meetings from both parties held at Oslo, Norway earlier this month.

“I will give their leaders sponsors to allow them to take part in the talks,” Duterte said.

However, he said that a mass release of prisoners would only be on the condition of whether the talks push through smoothly.

“They will only be released if things do good,” he said. “Maybe, if they are ready to surrender their arms and assume their normal roles in society.”

“Then maybe, I will consider with Congress granting them amnesty.”

Duterte said that the leaders of the CPP will be guaranteed passes to be able to attend the talks, as part of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

After talks held last June 14 to 15, both parties agreed to the return of talks upon the assumption of Duterte’s administration on July 1.

Part of the agenda include the affirmation of previously signed agreements, accelerated process for negotiations, reconstitution of the JASIG list, amnesty proclamation for the release of all detained political prisoners, and the mode of interim ceasefire. The GPH panel also promised they would advise Duterte to release the NDFP consultants and political prisoners for humanitarian reasons.