Palace on PNP's 'palit-ulo': VP mistaken

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Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) - Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Wednesday that Vice President Leni Robredo mistakenly described the Philippine National Police's 'palit-ulo' scheme.

"The Philippine National Police's (PNP) 'palit-ulo' scheme, which the Vice President gravely misunderstood, refers to a commitment of a drug suspect to provide assistance in the arrest of a 'bigger fish' in the illegal drug syndicate, whether an up-line, or superior, or supplier of the arrested suspect, in exchange for lighter charges," Abella explained.

Abella added that while Robredo has the right to speak freely, she has to be careful with her 'unfounded' allegations.

Robredo said in a YouTube video that police would detain relatives of drug suspects who go into hiding. These relatives supposedly serve as "collateral" and an inducement for the suspects to turn themselves in--or for relatives to reveal the suspect's whereabouts.

Robredo: Warrantless searches, 'palit-ulo' scheme in anti-drug operations

PNP to Robredo: Give specific incidents of alleged 'palit-ulo' scheme

The PNP challenged Robredo to cite specific instances of the said scheme, stating that the 'palit-ulo' scheme is not standard police practice.