A Commission on Human Rights (CHR) official on Tuesday said that President Rodrigo Duterte cannot be held liable for alleged drug-related extrajudicial killings because of his statements.
A News To Go report said that according to CHR Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, accusations that Duterte is behind the alleged extrajudicial killings should be backed up by data and not just by the president's remarks egging policemen to kill resisting drug suspects during operations.
Gana also said that the CHR has yet to get proof that vigilante-style killings are state-sponsored.
“We have not actually found that it's [an] institutionalized policy of government. We're looking at the individual cases," she said.
She said what they have found out is that some rogue members of the government's security force are involved in vigilante-style killings, which she said could not be branded extrajudicial killings unless these are proven as state-sponsored.
"What we have actually seen is that there are security forces, do they call them scalawags or what, relly involved in the killings," Gana added.
On Monday, the New York Times released a video documentary on the war on drugs in the country titled "When a President Says, 'I'll Kill You'."
The New York Times also published an editorial last Friday calling on other nations to put pressure on Duterte amid the rising death toll in the Philippines' war on drugs.
Meanwhile, Gana said that the Philippine National Police should act on the spate of killings in the country.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa insisted on Monday that there are no extrajudicial killings in the country and blamed the media for using the term on homicide cases.
"Kalimutan niyo ang EJK. Huwag niyo gamitin iyan. Hindi naman talaga sponsored ng state 'yung killing na 'yan e. Hindi sponsored ng PNP, in fact," Dela Rosa said in a press conference.
In the same press briefing, the PNP chief released data on killings since Duterte took office in July 2016.
Dela Rosa said the PNP had recorded more than 6,000 homicide cases from July 1, 2016 to Mar. 24, 2017.
He said they released the data to clarify reports that there are 7,000 extrajudicial killings amid the government's war on drugs.