Amnesty International ‘politicizing’ drug war deaths – Albayalde
MANILA, Philippines — Human rights group Amnesty International is apparently making a political issue out of those killed in the country’s war against illegal drugs, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said on Tuesday.
“We really do not know, [but] sabi nga natin it could be a political issue and ayaw naman natin pumasok doon,” he said in a press briefing at Camp Crame, explaining the Executive Department is in a better position to comment on the issue.
(We do not really know, but like what we said, it could be a political issue and we do not want to meddle on that.)
Albayalde also debunked the claim of the London-based rights group that the province of Bulacan has been turned into the ‘bloodiest killing field’ of the drug war.
“This could be a political issue na naghahanap sila ng ganitong mga police operations sa isang lugar (that they are looking for these kinds of police operations in a single place),” he said.
Albayalde cited the large population of the province and added that the deaths are not centralized in a single municipality.
“Napakalaki ng Bulacan with more or less more than one million siguro ‘yung population doon. Kung nangyari ‘yan sa isang barangay, then siguro mabahala tayo,” he said.
(Bulacan is really large with more or less one million in population. If the deaths happened in just one village, then it is alarming.)
Albayalde said the PNP respects the report of Amnesty International and those countries urging the United Nations to conduct an investigation on the country’s drug war, but added “matters involving foreign diplomatic policy are beyond the authority of the police to tread on.”
He added that “at best,” the PNP can only express its opinion that any investigation of a foreign body on local crime incidents “may be unnecessary.”
For Albayalde, the country has a “fully functional criminal justice system that has complete jurisdiction over domestic legal questions that need to be resolved through a formal judicial process.”
“Allegations of killings were never been proven. All our anti-illegal drugs operations continue to be conducted within the bounds of the law with utmost respect for human rights.” he said.
As of July 2016, a total of 240,565 drug suspects have been arrested and 12,000 villages have been cleared of drugs, the PNP chief said.
“As what I have promised since I assumed this post, we will not relax, we will not relent. We will fulfill the vision of our President of a drug-free Philippines,” Albayalde said. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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