PNP: We’re not obligated to share drug operations data with CHR
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is not duty-bound to release to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) records proving that its anti-illegal drugs operations comply with human rights standards.
PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. had this to say on Monday, after CHR chairman Chito Gascon urged the police to release data on anti-illegal drugs operations.
“We are not obligated to give it to them,” Durana told reporters.
“May makukuha sila[ng records] pero (They’ll be able to get data but) through proper channels.”
“They are not the proper agency where we can turn over these case folders. I think the proper agency to turn over these case folders and where they can get all these data ay sa [Office of the] Solicitor General (OSG),” he said.
Durana said the PNP has already released the records to the OSG headed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, who is assigned as the principal law officer and legal defender of the government.
“They are the Commission, they know the procedures that we need to observe so instead of giving rhetorics in the media, they should know the administrative processes they need to observe in this government,” he said, referring to the CHR.
Durana said there is ‘unrestrained willingness’ on the part of the PNP to ensure accountability in anti-drug operations.
He added that over 400 police officers and officials have been slapped with charges for violating human rights standards.
Government data showed that 5,050 drug suspects have died in encounters with the police from July 2016 to November 2018.
In December last year, however, Gascon was quoted as saying that the death toll in the drug war could be as high as 27,000.
Durana said that the deaths do not automatically mean that the human rights of the drug suspects were violated.
“We need to have a clear objective, unemotional response to any incident. Hindi ‘yung biased. [It does not mean that] kapag namatay [‘yung suspect], human rights violation kaagad,” Durana said.
(It should not be biased. It does not mean that when the suspect died, its already a violation of human rights.)
“Human rights is not a bad thing. It’s important in improving the professionalism of the PNP, and we welcome that,” he added./ gsg
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