PNP: UN probers need clearance to get drug war info
The Philippine National Police maintained on Friday that requests for information pertaining to national security, particularly on the war on drugs, must go through proper channels and might need approval from “the higher-ups.”
PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said that even representatives of the United Nations are covered by the protocol.
“The PNP follows a protocol on releasing information involving national security. So any request from international or local organizations must go through the process or proper channels … and we will allow the higher-ups to give their approval,” Bulalacao said at a press briefing in Camp Crame.
President Duterte on Thursday directed the PNP and the military to ignore any investigation by the United Nations on the government’s war on drugs, saying that the international organization should not interfere on how he runs the country.
Mr. Duterte was responding to Iceland Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson’s call for the Philippines to allow UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard to probe its campaign against illegal drugs.
But presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday clarified that the President’s order applies only to biased experts, “who already have conclusions and just want to fill in the blanks to support their conclusions.”
“If you’re sincere and you come wanting to know the facts, we will cooperate,” Roque told reporters, adding that when the President made his statement before the police, he had only been aware of the statements of special rapporteurs Callamard, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and Cecilia Jimenez-Dary, who had been critical of the thousands of drug-related killings and the continuing imposition of martial law in Mindanao.
Bulalacao said requests for information would have to be made through the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) and approved by PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, before being forwarded to the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO).
Some cases might necessitate raising the request to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, he said, adding that those with pending cases in court requires court approval.
A memorandum dated Aug. 22, 2017 from PNP-DIDM Director Augusto Marquez Jr. to the PNP-HRAO, also states that “the PNP, through the PNP-HRAO, shall provide the CHR with copies of spot reports
and excerpts from the PNP blotter and crime incident reporting and analysis system upon request.”
“(UN representatives) can still expect something but (the release of) matters or information that could affect national security need to be thoroughly studied by PNP offices,” Bulalacao said.
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.