THE Philippine National Police leadership has challenged US lawmakers and other foreign groups accusing the Duterte government of committing massive human rights violations in line with its anti-drug war to visit The Philippines and see for themselves the ‘real situation’ in the country instead of merely relying on reports being fed by biased international and local news agencies.
“Let them visit/come to the Philippines and see for themselves what is the real situation in this country and not simply rely on reports from biased sources,” said PNP spokesman, Senior Superintendent Dionardo B. Carlos in reaction to another report from an international group that ‘under the current government, Filipinos are at growing risk of grave violations that may amount to crimes against humanity.’
The report was carried by a hitherto unknown group called Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.
Carlos issued the challenge a day after PNP chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa urged American senators and others accusing the Duterte administration and the police of committing human rights violations to verify their information and not just accept the reports from “biased” media outlets.
Gen. Dela Rosa made the statement while clarifying that contrary to a Reuters’ report carried by many news organizations in the country, the winning supplier of an estimated P1.7 billion worth of assault rifles from the US has informed the PNP last Monday that the processing of their gun permits at the US State Department is going smoothly.
Reuters reported that the US State Department halted the planned sale of 26,000 rifles to the PNP after US Senator Ben Cardin said he would oppose it over concerns about human rights violations in the Philippines.
However, Sig Sauer told the PNP that the export license for the delivery of the rifles is undergoing normal process in the US State Department. Gen. Dela Rosa said they are procuring 27,394 units of Basic Assault Rifles (BAR) through Agency Procurement Request at the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management utilizing the funds from the Capability Enhancement Program 2010-2015 with an Approved Budget Contract of P2 billion.
“Our contract price totaled to P1.7 billion, the Contract Agreement was signed on July 13, 2016 and Notice to Proceed on July 29, 2016 to the winning bidder, Sig Sauer, Inc. represented by Intrade Asia Pacific Corporation for the supply and delivery of the assault rifles with price per unit of about P64,000,” the PNP chief said.
“Please verify properly your reports. Kung gusto ninyo kayo mismo ’yung pumunta dito, feel it for yourselves anong nangyayari dito. Huwag lang po kayong basta-bastang tumanggap ng mga report from biased media outlets. ’Yun ang aking advice sa kanila,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Dela Rosa said these biased media entities -- he did not name them but said they include international news publications and some local media companies -- highlight only the bad news and downplay the good news in their reports.
The PNP chief expressed disappointment over the failure of many foreign and local groups, media included to report that the ongoing anti-drug campaign has resulted in massive reduction in street crimes and that more people now feel much safer in the streets compared to the situation during past administrations.
Carlos said the PNP chief’s invitation for US officials and other entities to come and investigate firsthand these alleged extrajudicial cases is open.
“We ask what is the basis/bases for their concern about EJKs arising from a state-sanctioned war on drugs in the Philippines,” he said.
Carlos yesterday said that their records will show that since July 1, the PNP has conducted 33,898 anti-drug operations across the country leading the killing of 1,790 armed drug personalities in gunbattles with the police and the arrest of 33,105 others during buy-bust operations, service of search warrants, checkpoints and police responses.
Carlos said that PNP agents have also visited 2,990,497 houses in line with its Oplan: Tokhang which resulted in the surrender of 758,377 drug suspects composed of 703,363 confessed shabu and marijuana users and 55,014 drug dealers.