PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday maintained that there are no “extrajudicial killings” (EJKs) or state-sponsored murders despite claims by the opposition and other administration critics.
He also defended President Duterte concerning his latest controversial statement that his only sin is the EJKs. “Ang take ko diyan eh baka nasabi ng ating Presidente out of frustration. Baka sinabi niya yan para matigil na ang akusasyon,” the PNP chief said.
“First of all, the Philippine National Police operates on the directives of our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to wage war against illegal drugs within the bounds of the law. We can be tough on crimes while upholding human rights and the rule of law,” the PNP chief said in a statement.
Gen. Albayalde made it clear that President Duterte has not given them any instruction to violate the law in the performance of their duties.
“In fairness to the President, walang sinabi, walang kautusan ang President, not even former PNP chief Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa to kill drug suspects even though they are not offering any resistance. Let’s disabuse our minds, wala pong utos na ganyan,” said Albayalde who was the National Capital Region Police Office chief when Gen. dela Rosa, his classmate from Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986, was the country’s top cop.
He also said that “we are inspired and challenged by the latest Social Weather Stations survey results which show that the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs has the support and approval of 78% of the Filipino people.”
“Despite noisy criticisms of the few, there’s no such thing as ‘extrajudicial killing’ in the war on drugs since it has never been ‘state-sponsored. Unfortunately, they have been abusing the term ‘extrajudicial killings’ because it is actually defined as ‘killings of cause-oriented group members and media personalities’ based on Administrative Order 35 issued by the previous administration on April 18, 2013. It is unfortunate that some critics of this administration use the term irresponsibly for their own propaganda,” the PNP chief said.
Nearly 4,900 armed drug trafficking suspects have been killed while over 155,200 were arrested since the Duterte government launched a massive crackdown on illegal drug trafficking and abuse from July 1, 2016 to August 31 last year alone.
Gen. Albayalde said that the fact that almost 160,000 suspects were taken alive compared to the nearly 5,000 killed in shootouts is an indication that police would always want to haul to jail suspects but are ready to defend themselves once armed drug offenders pose a serious threat to their lives.
“We are one with the 96 percent of the Filipino people who recently said that they want drugs suspects to be arrested alive. We are equally tough against those among us who have gone overboard in the discharge of their official functions. In fact, we have penalized 555 PNP personnel from 2016 to July 2018, 362 of them were dismissed from the service for drug related offenses and 89 personnel for human rights violations,” he said.
The PNP chief said that 674 policemen have been charged for human rights violations during the same period. “We are not tolerating abuses, any irregularities in the police force,” he said.
“Our campaign against illegal drugs will continue to be relentless and chilling but likewise compliant with the requirements of due process, human rights of individuals including drug suspects and the rule of law,” he added.
Latest RealNumbersPH update showed that over the past 25 months, a total of 108,059 anti-narcotics operations have been conducted by the PNP as well as other law enforcement units including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Customs.
According to PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Benigno B. Durana JR., a total of 223 secret drug dens and 13 clandestine laboratories have been dismantled during the period in review.