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Año on latest SWS poll: It’s a good challenge for cops

/ 10:03 PM February 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — “It’s a good challenge for the police force.”

This was the comment of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on the latest Social Weather Stations Survey (SWS) survey, which showed that Filipinos are divided over the claim of  some suspects were killed in the Duterte administration’s drug war because they fought back, or “nanlaban.”

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READ: SWS: Filipinos split over truth of police ‘nanlaban’ claim 

“Ito’y masasabi nating magandang challenge sa ating kapulisan na patunayan sa ating mga mamamayan na ang ginagawa ng ating kapulisan ay ayon dun sa rule of engagement at saka in accordance with the law,” Año told reporters in a chance interview after a national anti-corruption summit in Pasay City on Thursday.

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(This is a good challenge for our police officers to prove that what they are doing is in accordance with the rules of engagement or in accordance with the law.)

“Iyun namang mga survey na yan [ay] feedback galing sa ating mamamayan na magsisilbing management tools para ma-check yung performance ng ating kapulisan, so we welcome those survey result,” he added.

(Those are feedback from our citizens and should serve as management tools to check the performance of the police. We welcome those survey results.)

The DILG chief was also asked to comment on another result in the same poll which revealed that more Filipinos believe that some police officers are involved in the illegal drugs trade, extrajudicial killings (EJKs), and are often involved planting evidence against arrested drug suspects.

READ: SWS: Most Filipinos think cops into drugs, EJKs, planting evidence

“[M]insan sa mga survey na yan yung mga leading questions parang itinutugma dun sa gusto nilang lumabas na result,” he said.

(Sometimes those surveys phrase the questions in such a way that it will lead to the outcome they want.)

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He nevertheless noted that the DILG and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are “committed to improving the image and the performance of the police.”

“We have our own cleansing program designed to purge scalawags, misfits…in the organizarion,” he said.

He added that they have been imposing disciplinary action against erring police officers and actively dismissing suspending cops whose cases have been heard by the Napolcom (National Police Commission).

The administration’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs has received widespread criticism as it claimed the lives of thousands of drug suspects.

Just recently, the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said that in the first month of 2019, a total of 72 drug suspects were killed in legitimate anti-drug operations.

This figure would bring the death toll to 5,176 since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his anti-illegal drug campaign in July 2016 when he assumed the presidency. /ee

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