PNP shrugs off HRW call for probe of cops in drug war

MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday dismissed the proposal of Human Rights Watch (HRW) to create an independent commission to investigate the alleged involvement of police personnel in drug-related killings.

We do not need to add more to the call of the Human Rights Watch for an independent probe of killings of drug suspects. I reiterate that the PNP's flagship campaign against illegal drugs has been relentless and unforgiving especially against the very few who may have chosen to violate their oaths as servants and protectors of the people, PNP Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a statement.

Our internal cleansing program has resulted in the dismissal of more than 500 police officers for illegal drug-related offenses. The neutralization by CITF of 101 police crooks, 9 of them killed including the most recent one in Dipolog City, manifests our strong and determined resolve to cleanse our ranks of misfits and scalawags, he added.

Last week, Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO-7) Director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas bared that policemen in Cebu and nearby provinces are being hired by drug lords as hitmen.

Albayalde directed Sinas to intensify police operations and hardening measures to identify and arrest these criminals, who kill people for a living.

The PNP takes exception to allegations that there are retired and active members of military and police force serving as hitmen for illegal drug syndicates. Let me reiterate that the full force of the law shall be meted against those who have chosen to lean on the side of criminal syndicates, Albayalde said.

On Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the proposal as reckless, noting that the HRW should not merely rely on an interview with a police official as basis to conduct a probe.

Panelo said the HRW's proposal is no different from accusations hurled by critics of the Duterte administration's aggressive campaign against illegal drugs.

He said that HRW merely resurrected an old issue, which is clearly meant to undermine the integrity of the government's institutional mechanisms.

According to Panelo, there is a need to correct the minds of Filipinos from what he described as misinformation being propagated by the HRW.

He, meanwhile, assured that existing mechanism is in place to deal with erring cops such as the PNP's Internal Affairs Service (IAS) which continues to conduct internal cleansing within the organization.

Moreover, he said an independent Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Congress, a co-equal branch of government, continue to conduct investigations on reported abuses of authorities.

Panelo also reminded human rights groups, especially foreign ones, to quit interfering with domestic affairs.

These, among other governmental bodies engaged in counterbalancing measures, are functioning. We thus reiterate our position that we do not need schooling from outsiders on how to run the country, Panelo said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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