EXTRAJUDICIAL killings, according to all dictionaries, is defined as the killing of a person by government authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.
That definition, however, is not acceptable to PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa, who said yesterday that the proper term that needs to be used in the unexplained killings related to the administration’s war on illegal drugs is “homicide” and not EJK.
He said the term EJK was just a creation of the media and some sectors, adding the PNP always refers to killings as homicides.
“It’s the media that is insisting to use the term EJK. Let’s face it. You used that term because some of you would like to project that the killings are state sponsored,” he said.
Dela Rosa also released what he said were accurate figures – 6,011 – in the number of homicide cases that happened from July 1, 2016 up to March 24, 2017. He said they released the correct figures “to disprove persistent and irritating claims by some sectors that there are 7,000 EJKs” that Vice President Leni Robredo used in describing the administration’s ongoing war on drugs in her message to the United Nations.
Dela Rosa said that only 1,398 or 23.2 percent were validated to be drug-related cases while 828 or 13.8 percent were due to some other reasons. He said the remaining 3,785 cases have yet to be determined if they were in any way related to illegal drugs.
He said they came out with the figures in the hope that Robredo would also correct her pronouncements.
“Hopefully, that report will arrive to her positively. How I wish she would take it positively. We are not speaking ill of her. She is the vice president so she should be able to provide the right data. We are helping her correct her wrong data),” Dela Rosa said.
“The numerical data remains but only the terminologies are changed…so that we have to arrive at the correct picture of the situation,” he added.
He also said there is a possibility that big-time drug lords are responsible in spreading false information regarding the government’s war against illegal drugs since the all-out war against illegal drugs has become the “face” of the Duterte administration.
Dela Rosa also defended the President for lashing out at the European Union which criticized the government and even called for the release of Sen. Leila de Lima who is detained over drug-related charges.
“I don’t care what the Europeans say, I don’t care what the Americans say, what I care is what the lowly Filipinos say about our campaign on drugs…because we are working for the Filipino people, not the foreigners,” he said, citing the latest Pulse Asia survey which showed that 82 percent of Metro Manila residents are feeling safer now.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella is linking a recent New York Times’ presentation about President Duterte and his war on drugs to an alleged plot to oust him that is allegedly funded by some “personalities and politicians.”
Abella, in a statement, did not elaborate on the identities of these “personalities and politicians” but said the NYT video is proof that there are groups funding oust plots.
“NYT’s very obvious demolition work flies in the face of the very high approval PPRD enjoys. The newspaper tries to stir global outrage in a nation that welcomes its new=found peace and order. One can only conclude that certain personalities and politicians have mounted a well funded campaign utilizing hack writers and their ilk in their bid to oust PRRD,” he said.
The close to 15-minute video documentary, titled “When a President Says, ‘I’ll Kill You,’” documents the anti-illegal drug war of Duterte and the number of people that had been killed allegedly as a result of the drive.
Abella said this is not the first time that the NYT has come up with a feature on Duterte and his anti-illegal drugs campaign, saying that in a span of a week, the media agency had also come up with an article and a separate editorial.
He said the published news feature, titled “Becoming Duterte: The Making of a Philippine Strongman,” talked of the President’s rise to power but “under the context of violence” while the editorial, titled “Accountability for Duterte,” focused on the “unsubstantiated allegations” of former mutineer turned Magdalo partylist Rep. Gary Alejano and Jude Sabio, lawyer of self-confessed assassin Edgar Matobato.
Abella reiterated that the Duterte government’s war on drugs is not against the poor and is not targeting any particular segment of society as alleged by Human Rights Watch (HRW) Deputy Asia Director Phelim Kine. He also denied that Duterte has “contempt for lives.”
He said it was just a coincidence that some of those involved in the illegal drug trading and use are from the poor sector. He said the most prevalent drug in the Philippines is shabu which had been dubbed as poor man’s cocaine.
“The supply, largely from outside the Philippines, is in great demand from users and distributors both coming from poor families. Poverty, however, does not justify the use and selling of shabu. As the President said, he has to clean up the streets of drug users, pushers and dealers, regardless of their socioeconomic status in life,” he added.
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