PNP didn’t want drug suspects killed, says spokesman
Police operatives did not intend to kill suspects in anti-drug operations. They asked for it.
This was the gist of Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos’ statement as he denied that the police were committing crimes against humanity for allegedly killing more than 7,000 in the name of President Duterte’s drug war.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed that the PNP, as ordered by President Duterte, “incited killings of mostly urban poor in a campaign that could amount to crimes against humanity.”
The HRW released a 124-page report saying the Philippine police planted evidence—guns, ammunition and drugs—in the crime scene to implicate victims to drug activities.
“We don’t want the (nearly) 2,600 people getting killed but we have to protect ourselves to make sure that we are standing and we continue to perform our mandate,” Carlos said in a press briefing on Thursday.
“Hindi ‘yung kami ang nag-create ng scenario na mapatay sila,” Carlos added, suggesting that these suspects resisted arrest which was why they were killed.
The spokesperson reiterated that the 7,000 deaths were not all related to drugs.
In the latest data from the PNP released last January 31, 2,555 drug users and pushers were killed in legitimate police operations. The PNP, meanwhile, recorded 4,049 “deaths under investigation.”
“They’re saying that all of these killings are drug-related. That is not true. Those are murder cases pending investigation,” Carlos said.
Out of 7,000, Carlos said only 682 were drug related. “The rest are regular crimes happening on the street,” he said.
The PNP stopped releasing statistics on drug-related killings since President Duterte suspended the drug war last January. JE/rga