President Rodrigo Duterte believes that the Manila policemen were just defending themselves when one of their patrol cars mowed down protesters at a rally in front of the United States Embassy on October 19.
In a briefing at the Davao City airport Friday night, Duterte said that the cops acted out of instinct because they were probably “stressed out” and acted “insitinctively” to avoid getting lynched by an angry mob. He conceded that the police “miscalculated” the situation.
“You know, the police said that natakot kasi na-corner sila. There were just two of them I think, in the crowd they were surrounded by the group of militants…Nobody would ever do that in the midst of a troubled– I’m not justifying it. Just a maybe, baka he was under stress, he might be ganged, they might gang up on him, hurt him, and so he acted on a, by instinct, self preservation,” said Duterte.
“So’yun naman ‘yung ano, hindi naman talaga yung may gusto siyang patayin. Padiretso diretso lang eh. Hindi naman talaga ‘yung pinipili niya kung saan ‘yung mga tao,” explained Duterte.
He stressed that he was not justifying the act of the police which has caused widespread condemnation for its sheer brutality on video. He said he would talk to both the police and the activisits so he could ask the questions himself.
“Alam mo ‘yan ang sinasabi ko ah, even in war, even in everything, it’s miscalculation. But I said I am not– this is not a brief for the police, I might say that, pero I intend to look at it. I will try to talk to the police, invite him for coffee and I will talk to the activists. Para naman hindi sila–I would like to know what really happened. The dimension can only be, can be had if I would do the questioning myself,” Duterte added.