PHILIPPINES: SENATE URGES NATIONAL POLICE TO REMOVE ROGUE POLICE

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte's allies in the Senate strongly urged Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Bato dela Rosa to prioritize the removal of rogue cops within the ranks of the PNP in order to restore the public's trust in the police force.

This should be the focus of the PNP leadership � to fix and strengthen the internal disciplinary mechanisms of the PNP so scalawags (within the institution) will be punished, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said.

MalacaAang said the law must take its course now that criminal charges have been filed against the policemen involved in the killing of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella issued the statement after the funeral of Delos Santos was turned into a protest against the government's bloody crackdown against illegal drugs.

Kian de los Santos has been laid to rest. A criminal complaint against the Caloocan policemen involved in the incident has already been filed. Investigation is now in the process. Let us allow the law to take its due course, Abella said.

The three policemen claimed Delos Santos fought it out with them, but a close circuit television (CCTV) showed otherwise and points to the cops' culpability for murder.

The teenager's parents have denied the accusation their son is into drugs and have also expressed readiness to undergo drug testing to prove their son's innocence.

Police keep saying they resisted and it has become a convenient excuse for them to abuse the innocent, Gatchalian said.

This already shows weakness on the part of our policemen and shows that internal mechanisms to punish police scalawags are no longer functioning, he said.

Sen. Joseph Victor JV Ejercito said the issue on Delos Santos' death should go beyond politics, (because) the issue is humanity.

The best way to give justice to Kian is to make sure this horrific crime does not happen again to any minor, said Ejercito.

The Senate, Ejercito said, has done its part and it will continue to exercise its oversight powers to resolve the case. We have done our part in the Senate. We will continue to exercise our oversight powers, he said.

It is important for all of us � not just the Senate, but also the executive department, the courts and the media, to make sure that Kian's death will not be in vain but will result to meaningful reforms in the PNP, he added.

I am hoping that Kian's death will not be used by certain politicians or groups to advance their own political interests, Ejercito stressed.

The 17-year-old student was one of the dozens of persons killed during the massive anti-drug operations recently conducted by the police. His death sparked protests over the policemen's alleged execution of drug suspects, a charge which the authorities have denied.

Murder and torture charges have already been filed against the three cops behind the August 16 shooting of delos Santos in Caloocan City. The police claimed the student was a drug courier who fired at the cops during the raid. The family however insisted that he was brutally killed by the cops while pleading for his life.

Aside from the killing of Delos Santos, the Council of the Laity of the Philippines (CLP), the lay arm of the Catholic Church, wants all recent killings investigated by the government.

The umbrella group of various Catholic lay organizations said this after more than 80 suspected drug users were killed in the anti-illegal drugs operations of the police last week.

The CLP said the killings won't stop without a meaningful probe into the deaths � both from police and vigilante-style killings.

The CLP said while they agree that the country's drug problem must be dealt with seriously, it stressed that the rule of law should not be disregarded in fighting criminality.

The group said the recent wave of violence in the country only showed that the matter of extrajudicial killings has worsened.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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