PNP hits UN’s ‘bloated’ number on drug-related killings in PH
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said the number of drug-related killings reported to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) is “bloated” and “not consistent with the truth.”
“As we have explained, the varying numbers reported to UNHCHR by the special rapporteurs and its other sources were not consistent with the truth,” PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said in a statement.
“Their bloated figures don’t add up and cannot support any further need of the UN body to see the true and accurate picture of the Philippines’ lonely crusade against the global problem of illegal drugs,” he said.
Despite airing a strong statement, Banac said the PNP welcomes and respects the comment of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, who earlier said that even the official government data that says over 5,000 have died in anti-drug operations is a “most serious concern for any country.”
The PNP noted that the death toll in the drug war is at 5,375 from July 2016 to March 2019, but the unofficial data as of May is at 6,600 deaths.
In its report, the Human Rights Watch cited figures from the UNHCHR that an estimated 27,000 people have been killed as of March 2019 for involvement in the drug trade.
“We maintain that all our police operations against illegal drugs had been generally above board, based on lawful orders, and judiciously conducted within the ambit of regular police procedures,” said Banac.
He added that human rights are “perfectly in place, exercised, and protected” in the country in accordance with the Constitution.
He said any irregularity in police operations are being investigated and those found to have violated laws are punished with administrative sanctions. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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