THE reason why there are many suspected drug traffickers killed in the government’s anti-drug operations now is because President Rodrigo Duterte has given police officers the go-signal to defend themselves against alleged drug couriers who fight back.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano stressed this point during yesterday’s continuation of the investigation into the extrajudicial killings of alleged drug suspects.
“The reason why there are a lot of deaths because of police operation is because a lot of the drug lords engage the police or endanger the lives of the police,” he said.
“But in Davao for example, if they surrender peacefully, you will make sure that their rights are protected,” said Cayetano during his interpellation of former Davao City police retired Police Senior Supt. Dionisio Abude.
He noted that the successful anti-crime and illegal drugs campaign in Davao City under Duterte’s term as mayor is a testament to his administration’s capacity to create real reforms.
“The Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs is not a campaign to kill people indiscriminately, not to get rid of criminals extra judicially, but is a campaign to save the nation and save the generation from drugs. And these policemen will be able to testify how they do it in Davao,” he said.
He said that in 2015 alone, the number of killings recorded in the country reached 12,481. On the other hand, a total of 16,160 killings were recorded in 2013, or an average of 1,300 cases per month.
This means that the number of killings during the past Aquino administration is “almost similar” to the recorded number during Duterte’s first few months in office, he said.
Despite this, PNP officials during the Aquino administration were never held liable for their failure to solve the cases, he added.