Siquijor Representative Rav Rocamora urged Philippine National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa to investigate the possibility that some of the deaths in the drug war might be victims of tokhang-for-ransom operations conducted by rogue police officers. According to Rocamora, a thorough investigation should be conducted by the PNP if it is really serious in cleaning up its ranks.
“It is an opportune moment for PNP Chief Dela Rosa to redeem himself in light of the very embarrassing circumstances surrounding the murder of Jee Ick-Joo. I hope his feelings of shame over what happened to Mr. Jee will motivate him to do a massive clean-up of the police force. I am afraid that these cases of tokhang-for-ransom that have surfaced in the past few days are just the tip of the iceberg,” Rocamora said.
“It is possible that Koreans and Chinese nationals are not the only targets. Ordinary Filipinos might have also fallen victim to these rogue cops. If we take the complaints of alleged extortion attempts by rogue law enforcers at face value, we get the impression that the targets are mostly foreign nationals. But it might be because they have access to their embassies and can report these illicit activities. We are not certain that among the thousands already killed in the drug war that there are no victims of this modus,” Rocamora emphasized.
Rocamora added that rogue police officers might have felt confident to engage in tokhang-for-ransom or similar operations because of the unprecedented number of drug personalities killed in the drug war.
“It’s easy to hide a few dozen murders behind the thousands of personalities already killed in the government’s drug war. A rogue police officer can easily say that a murder might be part of the drug war in order to deflect public attention,” Rocamora said.
PNP Chief Dela Rosa is under fire for the alleged kidnapping and killing of Korean national Jee Ick-Joo and the subsequent extortion of his widow. Jee was reportedly strangled within the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame near the office of Dela Rosa, according to a DOJ investigation.
At least 11 other tokhang-for-ransom cases have also been reported by Teresita Ang See of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO). According to See victims were Chinese nationals.