PNP investigating 1,540 cases of police abuse
The Philippine National Police is investigating 1,540 cases of alleged police abuse in the government’s war on drugs, a ranking police official said on Monday.
Chief Supt. Dennis Siervo, PNP Human Rights Affairs Office chief, also said 17 policemen had already been dismissed for human rights violations over the last two years.
“In our organization, we respect and protect human rights,” Siervo said in a press briefing.
But Siervo noted a downward trend in the number of police abuse cases.
“There were 12 policemen dismissed in 2015 and five in 2016. I’m hoping that it will continue to go down,” he said.
Siervo said a report from the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) showed that it was investigating 1,540 complaints of police abuse during the war on drugs.
“With these antidrug operations, I’m expecting that many will be charged. I even talked with National Capital Region Police Office Director Oscar Albayalde so these cases could be filed directly in court to determine if these persons did commit human rights violations,” he said.
“Maybe they should be given the proper fora. It’s also our chance to go to court and defend ourselves. We also have our right to defend ourselves,” he added.
Siervo earlier said that 174 policemen were accused of human rights violations in 2014, 131 in 2015, 105 in 2016, and 56 from January to February this year.
“I still couldn’t say that these were (definite) violations so I must wait for the Internal Affairs Service,” he said.
Siervo said some of these complaints might just be harassment cases filed against policemen who were just doing their job.
“Let’s wait for the results (of the IAS investigation). They might be exonerated,” he said.
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