PNP addressing drug kills – Palace
As international groups press for an independent investigation of the killing of suspects in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, Malacañang says the Philippine National Police is already investigating and cites specific actions the PNP has taken.
“We need to understand that these things are being addressed. Except that perhaps there’s a lot of noise on the outside, and auxiliary noise,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Tuesday.
EU, HRW warnings
“However, the President is quite serious in addressing all of these matters,” Abella added.
Parliamentarians from the Progressive Alliance and the Party of European Socialists warned on Monday that the Philippines could lose a preferential trade deal that allows the duty-free entry of its products to the European Union if the drug killings and the persecution of the administration’s critics continued.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) also warned that the Philippines could lose its position in the United Nations Human Rights Council unless the government stopped the killings and allowed an independent investigation.
Abella said the National Capital Region Police Office had ordered the relief and retraining of the entire Caloocan City police after officers on the force shot dead teenagers Kian Loyd delos Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz in September.
Delos Santos, 17, was killed in a drug raid. He was seen on security camera footage being dragged by police officers to a cul-de-sac, where he was later shot dead.
The footage belied police claims that the teenager had shot it out with them.
Arnaiz, 19, was killed after an alleged robbery attempt, but witnesses testified that he was on his knees when shot by police officers.
The body of Reynaldo de Guzman, 14, Arnaiz’s companion on the night he was killed, was fished out of a creek in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija province, days later with multiple stab wounds.
2 high-ranking cops sacked
Abella also said the PNP Internal Affairs Service had conducted more than 1,900 drug-related investigations against law enforcement officials from July 1, 2016, to June 15, 2017.
Two top police officials, Director Joel Pagdilao and Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, were sacked for serious neglect of duty and serious irregularity in the performance of duty, Abella added.
Mr. Duterte earlier linked the two police officials to the illegal drug trade, alleging that they protected drug lords.
More than 3,800 suspects have been killed by police since Mr. Duterte launched his war on drugs after taking office in June last year.
Police say the victims were shot dead in gunfights with officers.
More than 2,000 others have been killed by unknown assailants, who rights groups believe are hired guns working for the police or are policemen themselves.
Administration officials have denied that executing drug suspects is a state policy under Mr. Duterte.
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