PNP: There’s only one EJK case; wait, there’s none
The Philippine National Police on Friday acknowledged for the first time at least one extrajudicial killing (EJK) in the country, but quickly withdrew that statement.
“To allay and remove their fear of becoming victims of EJK, let it be known that under the present administration there is only one case of extrajudicial killing, or EJK,” PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in reaction to results of a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) which showed that 73 percent of Filipinos fear becoming victims of EJK.
He was referring to the killing in December last year of Catanduanes News Now publisher, Larry Que, who had written an exposé in his column about the drug trade in his province.
Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua, PO1 Vincent Tacorda and several others were charged for the killing in the Department of Justice.
Carlos later corrected himself, saying the Que case was just a “possible EJK” because it had not been confirmed by Task Force Usig.
He said, however, that the killing of Que could be an EJK as defined by Administrative Order No. 35 of 2012. The AO defined EJKs as “violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons whether committed as part of an apparent government policy in the past or as recurring cases of unsanctioned individual abuse of power and authority by state and nonstate forces.”
Reacting to the numerous deaths resulting from President Duterte’s war on drugs, the Catholic missionary group Redemptorists of the Philippines expressed alarm over the “utter loss of respect for the dignity of human life and human rights.”
“As missionaries dedicated to serving the poor and the most abandoned, we condemn the war on drugs as a war on the poor,” the religious group said.
“The police have become more relentless as the President himself had on many occasions incited the police to carry out a murderous war on the poor,” it said.
The survey results released on Thursday showed 63 percent of Filipinos believe the Duterte administration was serious in solving the EJK problem while 90 percent believe it is important that drug personalities are captured alive.
PNP chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who was visiting the Cordillera Administrative Region on Friday, said in a TV interview that the PNP wanted to capture “100 percent” of all suspects alive.
“What’s the use of waging this war on drugs if you don’t value life?” he said.
PNP records showed 398 of 6,129 homicide cases resolved by the police from July 1, 2016 to Sept. 15, 2017, or 6.49 percent, were found to have been drug-related.
Senior Supt. Adelio Benjamin Castillo, PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management case monitoring division chief, said that there were 15,911 homicides investigated by the police nationwide during the period. He said 9,782 remained unresolved.
The second quarter SWS survey was conducted from June 23 to 26 through face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents nationwide. —WITH A REPORT FROM JULIE M. AURELIO
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