Martial law victims warn Duterte vs reviving ‘monster’ PC
Victims of martial law atrocities warned President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday against reviving the Philippine Constabulary (PC) for antidrug operations, citing its record as a human rights violator during the Marcos dictatorship.
Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chair of the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), said the President would only be bringing a dead monster back to life.
“The Philippine Constabulary was a monstrous organization that became the scourge of the Filipino people during the martial law years,” she said. “It will not solve the rampant criminal activities within the Philippine National Police… Neither will it solve the drug problem of the country.”
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Tuesday the PC may be reactivated to support the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in its operations. Abella said the idea came from Duterte himself.
The PC was established in 1901. During the martial law years, it was a separate branch under the Armed Forces of of the Philippines. The PC had a common command structure with the Integrated National Police (INP), which it supervised. They were merged in 1991 into the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Selda stressed that the majority of human rights violations during the Marcos regime were committed by PC personnel.
In 1973, Enriquez’s sister, Liliosa, was arrested by the PC Narcotics Command (Narcom) and brought to Camp Crame, then the PC headquarters. She was later found dead in the camp hospital, her body bearing signs of torture and sexual abuse.
Liliosa is considered the first female casualty of martial law.
“Until now, no PC officer has been made accountable for their crimes against humanity. Why bring this monster back to life?” Enriquez said.
According to the Selda chair, even though it has been 25 years since the PC was abolished, reviving such an organization would also reintroduce the “military mindset” in law enforcement.
“I fear that when they revive the PC and it’s given a carte blanche to kill, then that would be just like martial law,” Enriquez added. /atm