By Carlos Manuel Eusoya

PHOTO: Sputnik

In his latest “Talk to the People” aired last Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said that the police can use “reasonable force” against suspects who resist and do not cooperate with the authorities.

“What is the kind of force? Well, commensurate with what force is also being employed by the person in authority. So dadalhin ka doon sa istasyon, hahawakan ka. Pagka lumaban ka, kaya may batuta ‘yang pulis eh, talagang paluin ka,” Duterte explained.

According to Duterte, the violence against non-cooperating suspects is not “police brutality”, as what his critics had claimed.

“Hindi ‘yan sabihin ninyo police brutality. Kasi kung ayaw ninyo magpaaresto, then the police is negligent of his duty to place the offender or the culprit under his control,” he added.

Moreover, Duterte reminded the citizens that they should “keep [their] cool and not argue” when police officers announce their authority.

“Maraming hindi kasi nakakaintindi eh. Akala nila kung makita nila ‘yung pulis nakipagdumugan diyan… his duty is to bring you under the authority of the government and bring you to the police station. ‘Bakit mo ako dalhin na maghanap pa ako ng abugado?’ Well, I’m sorry but that is not the law. You can call your lawyer if you have a cellphone but you also have to honor the authority of the government and surrender and go with the police to the station,” Duterte emphasized.

The police’s use of excessive force in the Duterte administration has been criticized and claimed as “unconstitutional” due to their human rights violations.

Last 2021, several police enforcers and barangay officials have reportedly killed, severely punished, and raped curfew violators and innocent citizens.

However, the president, who is currently being probed by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has insistently denied that neither police brutality nor human rights violations took place during his term.