The Philippine National Police does not have the money to give as “incentive” to its members who kill drug suspects or to pay hired guns for the war on drugs, the PNP leadership maintained yesterday. PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa belied an Amnesty International (AI) report that a reward system within the PNP exists for policemen who kill drug suspects. “We have no funds for that. Why would we pay policemen who will do that?” Dela Rosa told reporters yesterday. He said policemen who intentionally killed drug offenders should be jailed, not given monetary rewards. He also challenged the police officer who reportedly gave the information to AI to come out in the open. “For all you know it’s just a way to destroy the Duterte administration. File a complaint,” Dela Rosa said. Malacañang, for its part, maintained that the Duterte administration does not condone extrajudicial killings. “The extrajudicial deaths are not state-sanctioned,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement yesterday. Abella said the joint probe by the Senate justice, public order and illegal drugs committees has shown that “there is no state-sponsored policy of extrajudicial deaths” and that there is a “relentless effort” on the part of the police to carry out the anti-drug campaign properly. Abella also cited President Duterte’s directive to abolish all anti-drug units in the PNP in line with his zero tolerance for corruption. “Reforms in the PNP will rid the force of rogue cops,” he added. In a report, AI said the PNP has killed and paid others to kill thousands of suspected drug offenders to comply with the instructions “from the very top of government.” “Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police,” AI’s Crisis Response director Tirana Hassan said. “The police, paid killers on their payroll and unknown armed individuals have slain more than a thousand people a month under the guise of a national campaign to eradicate drugs,” she added. DOJ disputes Amnesty report Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II also disputed the report, saying that drug traffickers cannot be considered as being part of humanity. “Like I have been saying, these criminals, the drug lords, drug traffickers, they are not humanity,” Aguirre told reporters at the Senate yesterday. “In other words, how can it be if your war is against drug lords, drug pushers? Do you consider them humanity? No, believe me,” he added. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he could not understand why the AI meddles in the affairs of the country when they are not elected to government service. He also said a shoot-to-kill order may be better if people oppose extrajudicial killings and they death penalty. “They keep on complaining about extrajudicial killing and yet they still don’t like death penalty which will undergo the legislative process,” he said. “Ayaw ipasa ang death penalty, eh di patayin na lang iyan (the passage of death penalty is being opposed, so let us just kill them),” he added. Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that he would like to see the basis used by AI to come up with its findings, particularly on its claim that there are policemen being paid to plant evidence or kill suspected drug pushers and users. Lacson said while there was loose talk about this taking place under the current administration, that was the extent of his knowledge on the issue. “We need to see evidence. We need to see facts to support their allegations,” he said. Lacson also filed a bill calling for the strengthening of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the PNP, a move aimed at instilling discipline in the organization and curbing abuses among the country’s law enforcers. Lacson’s Senate Bill 1310 seeks to make the IAS more effective and efficient, especially at this time when various complaints have arisen in relation to the administration’s war against drugs. Under the bill, the IAS should conclude its investigation against an erring PNP member within 30 days, after which appropriate administrative and/or criminal charges shall be filed immediately. Palace: War on drugs to continue Abella also clarified that the crackdown on illegal drugs would continue even if the PNP’s anti-drug campaign Oplan Tokhang has been suspended. The campaign was put on hold following the outrage over the killing of a South Korean businessman by policemen from the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group. “The war on drugs, as the President has said, continues until the last day of his administration. The state does not condone extrajudicial killings perpetrated by common criminals which have been wrongly attributed in some unvetted reports as part of police operations,” he said. The presidential spokesman was reacting to UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard’s statement welcoming a “pause” in the anti-drug war. “The President has clear directives that extrajudicial killings must be thoroughly investigated according to established internal procedures, the results of which will be made public in due time,” Abella said.
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SOURCE: YOUTUBE, PHILSTAR