Return of cops to drug war spells bloody Yuletide – solon
For Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, the return of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as the lead agency in the Duterte administration’s nationwide campaign against illegal drugs would be a “return to a reign of error and terror at yuletide.”
“Instead of a joyous Christmas, there will be mourning and wailing among the poor who are the targets of the drug war,” the opposition lawmaker said in a statement, assailing President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to put the police back at the helm of the government’s war against illegal drugs.
Duterte recently mentioned in a speech that he might bring the PNP back in the so-called war on drugs. Duterte booted the PNP out of the drug campaign and put the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at the forefront amid the rising number of reports of human rights violations and vigilante killings allegedly committed by the police.
“Malacanang’s trigger-happy hands have become too itchy. The lull in the deadly campaign against drug personalities is unsettling President Duterte who wants them eliminated. It was just a matter of time that he wants the PNP to be at the forefront again instead of PDEA,” Villarin said.
Villarin said this would only “exacerbate an already messy campaign, further erode the rule of law, and institutionalise violence to solve the drug problem.”
With the PNP’s guidelines currently under scrutiny in the Supreme Court for its constitutionality, the minority representative said it would be best for the police to take a backseat in the drug campaign.
He also advised PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to “shut his mouth and reflect on the damage the extrajudicial killings have caused to the PNP institution.”
“Everybody wants the drug problem solved. But it cannot be solved through a blanket denial of EJKs and a mockery of our justice system,” he said. /kga
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