Palace tells Senate: We condemn killings, too
Malacañang reiterated Friday that there were no state-sponsored killings in the country as it welcomed investigations on police scalawags.
“While the President is harsh against those involved in illegal drugs, he is equally appalled by misdemeanors of police scalawags. We thus welcome the Senate’s investigations and inquiries on erring police personnel as a manifestation of a freely functioning and democratic State mechanism,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Abella’s statement came after sixteen senators, led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, filed Senate Resolution No. 518, which condemned extrajudicial killings in the “strongest sense.”
A similar resolution condemning the drug-related killings under the Duterte administration was earlier filed by 6 minority senators- Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Leila de Lima.
Abella said Malacañang shared “the expressed concern of the Senate on the recent spate of drug-related deaths and similarly condemns extrajudicial killings.”
“But we need to clarify again that extrajudicial killings, or EJKs, are not State-sanctioned,” he said. “There are no State-sponsored killings in the Philippines, a conclusion made by the Senate committees on justice and human rights, on public order and illegal drugs which previously conducted investigations on EJKs.”
He said there was a “relentless effort on the part of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to carry out their operations properly and within legal processes.”
The Palace official said President Rodrigo Duterte remained firm in his will to cleanse the PNP of rouge policemen.
“The President remains firm on the need to cleanse the police of its misfits, especially those responsible for these violations,” he said.
Abella cited that more than 1,900 drug-related investigations of allegations against law enforcement officials have been carried out between July 1, 2016 and June 15, 2017 by the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS).
Of this total, he said 1,045 cases have moved to the administrative proceedings stage and 159 law enforcement officials face dismissal from service, with many others undergoing pre-charge investigations or summary hearings.
“These erring persons in uniform do not have a place in a State organization which is a human rights duty-bearer, with a primary role to protect the right to life, liberty, and property of the people by way of an effective anti-illegal drug campaign,” he said.
But amid criticisms against alleged police scalawags, Abella cited the gains of the government’s anti-drug war.
“The same police operations, heavily criticized by some quarters, saw the voluntary surrender of 1,308,078 drug users, the arrest of 107,156 drug personalities, the rescue of 578 minors, and the seizure of 2,465.65 kilos of shabu worth P12.7 billion as of August 29, 2017 – facts overlooked by our critics,” he said. /idl
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.