NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya at press briefing with Engr. Rosalinda Bote, department manager of Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System and Engr. Felix Teaño, Division I manager. Photo by Armand M. Galang
SAN JOSE CITY – Former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya on Thursday called out the Philippine National Police leadership for allegedly trying to cover up for policemen involved in the bloody Jolo incident.
Now head of the National Irrigation Administration, Visaya answered questions from the media in a press briefing after leading the groundbreaking of the P1.3-billion Balbalungao Irrigation Project in Lupao town.
Visaya also challenged officials of the PNP to resign for failure to instill discipline among their men. He did not name names though.
“Meron bang bakbakan doon? Walang bakbakan doon. Paanong misencounter doon. Kino-cover up pa kasi nila e. Yun ang ayoko e. Yun ang ayoko kaya sabi ko nga e if you cannot instill discipline sa PNP better na mag-resign kayo. Mag–resign, hindi nila kaya e,” said Visaya who did not hide his dismay and disgust over the incident.
He particularly slammed earlier statement by the PNP hierarchy that the incident which resulted to death of four military officers was a case of misencounter.
“At ang ayoko lang talaga riyan yung mga pahayag ng nasa national office, national headquarters of the Philippine National Police, ang dami nilang sinasabi na kino-cover up na nila dyan. Kino-cover up na nila. Halatang halata na nga na hindi misencounter yun,” the retired general said.
He defined a misencounter as a firefight between two friendly government forces.
The soldiers, he said, were ready to die if it was in a battle against enemy of the state.
“Kung nakikita nyo me mga namatay kaming sundalo sa pakikibaka sa mga enemy of the state, walang problema yun because kasama yun sa sinumpaan namin,” he said. But the Jolo, Sulu incident is different, he stressed.
He noted though that PNP statements are “somehow changing.”