Bulacan now PH’s ‘bloodiest killing field’ — Amnesty International
MANILA, Philippines — Bulacan has become the country’s “bloodiest killing field” with a spike in killings in the Duterte administration’s brutal war on drugs, Amnesty International said.
The international human rights group noted that the spike in drug-related killings in Bulacan was made possible by the transfer of a number of police officers to the province, who once led the bloody drug war in Metro Manila.
“Located just north of the capital, Bulacan is a province to which a number of police commanders who previously supervise abusive operations in Manila have been transferred over the past 18 months,” the London-based group pointed out.
“Bulacan is now the country’s bloodiest killing field, according to official figures,” it stressed.
In April 2019, Amnesty International said it examined 20 drug-related cases in Bulacan in which 27 people were killed. The investigation showed that the killings came “overwhelmingly from poor and marginalized communities” between May 2018 and April 2019.
One of the police officers who were transferred to Bulacan is provincial director Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, the police chief for Caloocan City at the time of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in August 2017, the group noted.
Amnesty International said that in Kian’s case, only the junior officers were punished while Bersaluna, then-Caloocan City police chief Senior Supt., was promoted as Bulacan provincial police chief nine months after Kian was killed.
Earlier, Sen. Leila De Lima asked the Senate to probe the sudden bump in the number of drug suspects slain in police operations in Central Luzon, where Bulacan is located.
De Lima, one of President Duterte’s drug war critics, noted that according to Philippine National Police data, 542 drug suspects died in various police operations in the seven provinces of Central Luzon, making the region the “new extrajudicial killings epicenter.”
She said the figure was nearly twice the 285 killed in Metro Manila last year.
Duterte’s war on drugs has been harshly criticized for its high death toll and alleged violations of human rights.
Since July 2016, authorities said 6,600 drug personalities have been killed in 153,276 operations nationwide. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
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