Albayalde dares rights groups: Name all 27,000 people ‘killed’ in drug war
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Friday challenged human rights groups to name all of the 27,000 people who were supposedly killed during the government’s anti-drug operations.
“Can we have probably a list of these 27,000 na pinaulit-ulit nilang sinasabi? Show us the list, the names, and we will gladly investigate all of these kung totoo man ‘yan,” he told reporters in an interview at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
(Can we have a list of names of these 27,000 deaths that they always bring up? Show us the list, the names, and we will gladly investigate all of these if those numbers are true.)
Albayalde said PNP stands by its data of 6,600 deaths related to the government’s war against illegal drugs from July 2016 to May 2019. He stressed the data are all accounted for by the police.
“We have the list. Ours is covered by data, records, and these are all submitted to the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General),” he said.
During its 41st session in Geneva on Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted Iceland’s resolution asking the body to conduct greater scrutiny into the situation of human rights in the Philippines, including drug war killings.
Albayalde then said in jest that the supposed 27,000 deaths might have been different from official police data because it included those who died of heart attack or cases of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
He nevertheless assured that homicide cases under probe, which human rights groups claimed could be part of the drug war death toll, are being properly investigated.
Asked if the PNP will provide the drug war data should UNHRC ask for it, Albayalde said, “We leave that up to the executive department and higher authorities.”
He further said the Philippines “probably does not need anybody, especially international human rights committee” to conduct investigations on the situation of human rights here.
“We have our own CHR (Commission on Human Rights) which is perfectly working,” he noted.
Albayalde also said more than 300 police officers are facing charges initiated by the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office for alleged abuses in operations, higher than the 82 cases filed by CHR against PNP personnel. /kga/ac
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