HURTING from accusations that police have been recklessly killing known drug personalities in Metro Manila, National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Superintendent Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday cited the major anti-criminality gains scored by the Quezon City Police District headed by Senior Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar particularly in the anti-narcotics war launched by the Duterte administration.
Albayalde also emphasized that majority of known drug dealers in Metro Manila were arrested after yielding peacefully to NCRPO personnel who accosted them in checkpoints, in the conduct of police responses, service of search warrants and most importantly, in buy-bust operations.
Eleazar said that from July 1 to October 13, QCPD officers conducting Oplan: Tokhang visited 15,323 houses of known drug dependents or pushers resulting in the surrender of 9,841 drug personalities, 681 of them confessed drug pushers and the drug users.
The QCPD director said that drug suspects who did not heed the “knock and plead” approach were subjected to case build-up through surveillance and intelligence gathering.
Eleazar said three of those who were killed in encounters with his men were PNP personnel suspected of having involvement in illegal drugs. He said that those three encounters also led in the arrest of 29 cohorts of the slain policemen, two of whom were wounded.
“There are 27 unscathed suspects involved in these shootouts whom media have interviewed but who have not contradicted police versions of what transpired,” the QCPD director said.
Eleazar said four of his men have also been wounded in firefights with armed drug dealers and more of them could have been wounded or even killed had it not for the body armor they wore, all supplied by the city government.
“As law enforcers, we value human life highly. We do not go beyond arresting suspects into being judge and executioner of suspects. That is why we are very careful about being accused of extra judicial killing,” said Eleazar.