Cop withdraws testimony he was ordered to kill drug suspects

MANILA — A police officer who resigned after claiming that cops were being ordered to kill drug suspects has recanted his statement, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Monday.

During a Senate hearing into the killing of minors, Lacson, who chairs the committee, said that former cop Vincent Tacorda recanted his earlier testimony in an affidavit dated July 3 but executed on June 29.

Lacson said that Tacorda recanted his earlier testimony after doing some “soul-searching.”

“I have done some serious soul-searching and I have come to realize that I love my organization and I continue to hold it and its ranks in the highest respect despite some sad experiences I went through,” Tacorda said in his letter read by Lacson.

In his earlier affidavit dated May 10, 2017, Tacorda said he was tasked to accomplish the killing of five to 10 drug personalities. His affidavit was sent to media by the office on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Because of the pressure to deliver, I acceded and request for a list from which I can choose from,” Tacorda said in his earlier affidavit.

Tacorda also said that he was given a picture of his target and a folder with the words “Pusher ako, huwag tularan (I’m a pusher, don’t emulate)” handwritten in a red Pentel pen.

He said that he was designated the role of “shooter” and that he was given PHP800 budget for food and lodging.

“I am executing this affidavit to expose the anomalies and illegal activities that members of the PNP have committed and is continuously committing with the end goal of hopefully trying to reform the organization where I once belonged,” Tacorda said in his earlier affidavit.

In his affidavit, he said he tendered his resignation on April 26.

Lacson, meanwhile, asked Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa to produce Tacorda in the next Senate hearing into the issue to find out which among his testimonies was the “truth.”

He was earlier invited but refused to show up, Lacson said.

Dela Rosa said that Tacorda made the expose after charges were filed against him for killing a Bicol-based media personality.