C. Mindanao cops: 57 dead, no EJKs
KORONADAL CITY—The Central Mindanao police said all 57 deaths of suspected pushers in the region since July 1 were the results of legitimate police operations and not of extrajudicial killings.
“Definitely, there was no extrajudicial killing in the region during antidrug operations,” Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., speaking for the regional police office, told the Inquirer by phone.
Galgo said even government prosecutors and the Commission on Human Rights have said that there had been no complaints of police excesses during these police operations.
“We asked the prosecutors and human rights workers if there were complaints of human rights violations during police antidrug operation and they said there was none,” Galgo said.
He said law enforcers “were properly trained and knowledgeable on the rights of all crime offenders” and would pull the trigger only when suspects “violently resist using weapons that could endanger the lives of our lawmen.”
Galgo said under the Philippine National Police’s “Oplan Double Barrel,” police operatives in the provinces of north and south Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat, and the cities of General Santos, Cotabato, Koronadal and Kidapawan have already conducted 706 police operations as of Sept. 14.
Among those killed during police operations were three former police officers in Tacurong City and nine “hardened” drug pushers in Matalam, North Cotabato.
He said 867 individuals had been arrested and police seized more than 1,860 sachets of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
In the implementation of “Oplan Tokhang,” another antidrug campaign of the PNP, police in the region visited at least 29,000 homes, Galgo said.
Galgo said in the implementation of Oplan Tokhang, police in the region did not use coercive tactics but used persuasion and acted like heads of families in advising suspects to reform for their own sake.
In Cagayan de Oro City, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said government prosecutors should also focus on cases involving drug personalities.
He also urged them not to succumb to the temptation of being bribed by drug syndicates.
“Don’t let yourself be corrupted as prosecutor. Just do your job,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre said he has also required prosecutors to undergo drug testing to determine if they had been using drugs or not. Edwin Fernandez and Jigger Jerusalem, Inquirer Mindanao
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