Posts Tagged ‘Philippine National Police’

Philippines: Time for Dutertismo To Change Course

October 14, 2017


President Rodrigo Duterte addresses delegates at the closing ceremony of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and its 50th Grand Celebration, Tuesday Aug. 8, 2017, at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez

(First published on October 13) The sharp decline in public satisfaction with and trust in President Rodrigo Duterte may reflect the end of his “honeymoon period,” as the general public begins to critically reexamine their expectations for this administration and juxtapose them with its actual performance. Based on the third quarter survey of Social Weather Stations (SWS), 67 percent of adult Filipinos were satisfied with the president’s performance, while 14 percent were undecided and 19 percent were dissatisfied. This leads to Duterte gaining a net rating (satisfied minus dissatisfied) rating of +48, a whopping 18-point drop from his +66 rating during the second quarter. The same survey indicates that 73 percent of Filipinos continue to trust Duterte, while 15 percent remain undecided and 12 percent give him little trust. This gives him a net trust rating of +60 (very good), down from +75 in June.

The release of the survey results was exceptionally timely, as the Stratbase ADR Institute had organized a roundtable discussion on Tuesday that aimed to flesh out the successes and shortfalls of Duterte’s first year in office. Featuring Richard Javad Heydarian, non-resident fellow and author of the Special Study titled “Duterte’s First Year in Office: Assessing the Balance Sheet,” the roundtable provided critical avenue for select leaders in the political-diplomatic field, business community, and civil society to exchange ideas and insights as to why Duterte’s satisfaction and trust ratings suddenly plunged, and what the Duterte administration can do in order to reverse the downward trend and win back public support for its security, governance and development agendas.

Major policy ruptures and political risk

During his presentation, Heydarian cited major ruptures in policy and causes of political risk which, in varying degrees, could have had detrimental impact on Duterte’s satisfaction and trust ratings. The most controversial of which is the War on Drugs, which has not only experienced growing criticism at home but has also raised alarm within the greater international community. Based on the latest report of the Philippine National Police on the anti-illegal drugs campaign, there were already 6,225 drug-related deaths between July 1, 2016 and Sept. 16, 2017. Of these, 3,850 individuals died in police operations, 2,290 individuals died due to drug-related deaths and 85 government personnel (82 policemen, 3 soldiers) were killed in action.

According to Heydarian, the problem with the war on drugs is that it has been inextricably linked with the erosion of basic human rights and civil liberties, owing to the increase in extrajudicial killings and lack of accountability of law enforcement agencies and other unknown perpetrators of criminal violence. This prompted legislators from the United States and European Union, as well as legal luminaries of the International Criminal Court, to voice out their concern over the ballooning casualties which, if left unaddressed, may incur reputational and economic costs for the Philippines through expulsion from the United Nations Human Rights Council and imposition of economic sanctions, respectively.

Aside from the war on drugs, Heydarian identified “debt trap” Dutertenomics and fiscal or tax reforms as two other major causes of political risk that need judicious evaluation and effective implementation. Citing the Pulse Asia survey dated March 2017, Heydarian recounted that the three most urgent national concerns are economic in nature: improving/increasing the pay of workers (43 percent), controlling inflation (41 percent), and creating more jobs (39 percent). While Duterte deserves credit for his determination to advance his two signature initiatives, Build, Build, Build, Infrastructure Project and the tax reform, in order to level the economic playing field, improve the domestic investment climate, and render economic growth more inclusive, concerns over the sustainability of projects, the progressive leftist-technocratic divide within his Cabinet, and policy predictability, among others remain. In addition, overreliance on Official Development Assistance (ODA) with high interest rates from prospective donor countries such as China may lead to another wave of ballooning of the country’s foreign debt.

Opportunities for positive change

On the brighter side, Heydarian noted that the Philippine government has also made progress on some national issues. First, Duterte ought to be credited for pushing for a more inclusive and comprehensive peace negotiations with the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as well as keeping Malacañang’s gates open for the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front.

Should Duterte succeed in brokering enduring peace agreements both with the Moro and Communist insurgents, the Philippine defense and security establishment will be able to stave off the advance of Islamic State in Mindanao, facilitate agrarian reform and rural development in Communist-infested areas, and devote much of its energy on external defense, especially in light of China’s growing assertiveness in the West Philippine Sea. Second, Duterte’s unwavering support for the anti-trust regulation and the passage of key constitutional amendments, such as the relaxation of restrictions on foreign investments, would contribute to creating a more stable policy environment which, in turn, would usher the democratization of the domestic economy and improvement of the country’s business and investment climate.

Echoing Heydarian, it is imperative for Duterte to focus less on exacting political vendetta and focus more on state-building. In other words, he ought to address the issues closest to the gut of ordinary Juan, namely: preservation of law and order, generation of economic opportunities and strengthening of local institutions of governance.

Dindo Manhit is the president of think tank Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute, a partner of


Philippines: Amnesty International Says Changes to Duterte’s Drug War are Only a “PR” Move — Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

October 13, 2017
The recent decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to designate the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the lead office to conduct the war on drugs could just be a “PR” move by the government, according to Amenesty International. Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times/World Press Photo via AP, File

MANILA, Philippines — Amnesty International said on Friday that the recent decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to shift the responsibility of pursuing his ferocious campaign to eradicate narcotics to the country’s anti-drugs agency could just be a “short-term” public relations move meant to appease the growing opposition to it.

Duterte this week signed an order designating the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the main office in pursuing drug operations and relegated the Philippine National Police to a supporting role.

READ:  FLAG chair: Order for PDEA to lead drug war confusing

James Gomez, the watchdog’s international director of southeast Asia and the Pacific, said that the decision to put PDEA in charge of the government war on drugs was just meant to squelch public furor over the mounting number of dead people most of whom are poor and young.

The AI official said that the president had done this before when the police were temporarily ordered to cease conducting anti-drugs raids following the outrage over the discovery that cops belonging to the PNP’s anti-drugs unit were involved in the kidnapping, extortion and killing of a South Korean businessman inside its national headquarters in Camp Crame.

He added that the announcement would have little “meaningful” impact  and urged the president to discard altogether “the government’s fundamental policy of supporting extrajudicial executions of drug suspects.”

“President Duterte has pulled police off drug operations once before, in January this year, only to reinstate them a few weeks later,” Gomez said in a statement reacting to the Philippine leader’s announcement.

“We are concerned that this too may be nothing but a short-term PR move in response to growing public outrage about the drug war’s many victims, which are overwhelmingly poor, and include children,” he added.

Based on the latest survey of polling firm SWS, the president’s approval ratings plunged by 18 points in September.

The president’s office said that this plunge was because the survey was conducted just days after Duterte declared a national day of protest to allow Filipinos to air their grievances against the government.

Another survey by rival Pulse Asia however demonstrated that Duterte had maintained trust and approval ratings of 80 percent.

The announcement of the president also came in the wake of a string of police killings of teenagers in August sparked a widespread public condemnation of brutality and disrespect for due process, something that the 15-month-old administration of the former Davao City mayor had never seen.

Gomez said that what the government should do was to end its “murderous ‘war on drugs'” and adopt a policy that would respect and protect human rights.

“It is also crucial that there is accountability for the thousands of killings carried out already, many by police officers, and that those responsible are held to account,” he said.

READ:  Opposition senators: Change of lead agency not enough; shift drug policy, too

The AI official warned that the killings, which may constitute a crime against humanity, would continue as shooters just happened to be doning different uniforms.

The AI and Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights campaigner, have both released early this year excoriating reports on the government’s war on drugs that detailed police shortcuts and payments to kill drug suspects.

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Duterte in response blasted these international groups and governments for what he saw as “interference.”

On Thursday, he mistakenly blasted the European Union and threatened to cut diplomatic ties to its member-states over statements by a group parliamentarians warning the government that it risked losing preferential trade arrangements if it would continue with the campaign.

Philippine President Removes Overall Control of War on Drugs from Philippine National Police

October 11, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte orders the police officers facing various charges to be detailed in Basilan for two years during their presentation to the President in Malacañang on February 7, 2017. The President gave the errant police officers 15 days to decide whether to resign or accept their re-assignment in Basilan. Marcelino Pascua/Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has designated the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the “sole agency” in charge of the war on drugs amid simmering public outrage over alleged police abuse in the continuing crackdown.

Duterte issued the order a few days after his latest net satisfaction score suffered from its biggest fall since he became president. Among the events in the news when the survey was conducted was the death of a minor in the hands of Caloocan City cops that triggered rare street protests.

The memorandum also comes on the heels of Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa calling out critics of the drug war for being ingrates. He has since apologized for the remarks.

Image result for Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, photos

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa

READ: Duterte sees 18-point drop in satisfaction rating

In a memorandum dated Oct. 10, Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Customs, the Philippine Postal Office and other “ad hoc anti-drug task force” to leave the implementation of the drug war to the PDEA.

Duterte cited Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, in his new memorandum.

In the document, Duterte said all information obtained in the course of the enforcement of the anti-narcotics campaign must be “relayed, delivered, or brought to the attention of the PDEA for its appropriate action.”

Despite sidelining the police from the drug war, Duterte, nonetheless, directed the PNP to maintain its visibility “at all times” as a “deterrent to illegal drug activities.”

Duterte, who easily won the race to Malacañang last year on a brutal law-and-order platform, has stoked international alarm for activating his fierce anti-drug campaign.

Early this year, Duterte was forced to suspend Oplan Tokhang—a portmanteau of two words meaning to “knock” and “plead”—following the kidnapping and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in the hands of some policemen.

At that time, Duterte stripped the PNP and the NBI of the authority to conduct anti-illegal drug operations and designated the PDEA—backed by the Army— to continue the campaign. He also abolished the anti-drug units of PNP and vowed to cleanse the police force of scalawags.

Citing lack of manpower in the anti-narcotics operations, the firebrand leader later decided to tap the police again in the war against illegal drugs as he stressed that only the qualified ones would be allowed to join the crackdown.

READ: Duterte brings back police into war on drugs

Philippine lawyers ask Supreme Court to halt ‘illegal’ war on drugs that lets police kill and circumvent legal procedures

October 11, 2017


MANILA (Reuters) – A group of Philippine lawyers on Wednesday filed an injunction with the Supreme Court to try to stop President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, calling it as an illegal campaign that lets police kill and circumvent legal procedures.

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 Lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno from the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), speaks during a news conference in metro Manila, Philippines October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The government’s directive for the fierce 15-month-old crackdown permits police to “negate” and “neutralise” targets, effectively granting them a license to kill suspected users and dealers, without gathering evidence or building a case, the lawyers said.

A practice of compiling lists of “drug personalities” and encouraging citizens to anonymously provide names was tantamount to drawing up a hit list, the petition said. It called for judicial intervention in thousands of cases where Filipinos were killed by police.

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Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa and Jose Manuel Diokno

“The present war on drugs being waged by the government is not going to stop illegal drugs, crime and corruption,” Jose Manuel Diokno, chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), told a news conference.

“(It) will only result in the killing of more and more people especially the poor.”

The petition comes as public scrutiny intensifies on Duterte’s signature campaign, which he insists will not stop, regardless of the bloodshed. He says he is prepared to go to jail to protect Filipinos from crimes fueled by addiction.

Duterte rejects criticism that his notoriously bellicose public remarks have been interpreted by some police as veiled instructions to kill drug users, with impunity.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Dionardo Carlos said police “welcome the filing of the petition before the Supreme Court”. He did not elaborate.

Though Filipinos are largely supportive of Duterte’s iron-fisted approach, recent opinion polls indicate public doubts that his drugs war is above board and effective as the government says. Analysts say unease about the campaign has contributed to Duterte’s ratings decline.

PNP data shows 3,900 people have been killed in operations in which police say armed suspects violently resisted arrest. Duterte’s opponents and activists dispute that and say executions and cover-ups are commonplace, which police deny.

The petition by FLAG, which is comprised of around 200 pro-bono human rights lawyers, was filed on behalf of three people whose relatives were killed by police.

FLAG has also represented two men who testified before the Senate that they were part of an alleged “death squad” that killed drug dealers and criminals at Duterte’s behest when he was Davao City mayor, long before his presidency.

Duterte dismisses the allegation as nonsense.

The latest petition seeks to compel the PNP and the interior ministry to halt the campaign and wants killings to be examined by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which would take charge of evidence, including guns that police say were used by victims.

It said house-to-house visits by anti-drugs police followed unverified tip-offs from unknown informants and were not based on evidence. It argues police had no intent to persuade suspects to surrender and would kill anyone who refused to cooperate or denied involvement.

“The government’s war on drugs is short-cutting the justice system by dispensing justice from the barrels of guns,” the petition said.

Amnesty International Secretary General Says President Duterte Runs a “War on the Poor” — “The national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from murder”

October 8, 2017
Speaking about corruption during the One Young World Summit on Thursday (Friday in Manila), AI secretary general Salil Shetty cited Duterte as among the world leaders who fail to directly address significant issues hounding their respective constituencies. PCOO/Released

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – An official of international human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) criticized President Duterte during a youth summit here attended by over 1,300 international delegates.

Speaking about corruption during the One Young World Summit on Thursday (Friday in Manila), AI secretary general Salil Shetty cited Duterte as among the world leaders who fail to directly address significant issues hounding their respective constituencies.

“What (Donald) Trump is doing in the United States is not unique to the US,” Shetty said, referring to the US President’s controversial policies such as the ban on Muslims and refugees.

“Instead of dealing with issues such as corruption, inequality, discrimination, racial injustices, what he does and other leaders – take Duterte in the Philippines for example and (Prime Minister Viktor) Orbán in Hungary – instead of dealing with real issues, they divert their attention and (they use) particular parts of the community (as scapegoats),” he added.

Shetty did not provide additional details in his speech, although the organization is known to be a critic of Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs and the Hungarian government’s recent policy on foreign funding for non-government organizations.

AI claimed that the Philippine government may be held liable for crimes against humanity over the death of thousands in the so-called war on drugs.

“This is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,” the group claimed in its report in January.

“Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police,” it added.

The Philippine government has denied the claims and maintained that the campaign is necessary to address the drug problem in the country.

In his speech, Shetty maintained that AI is a non-partisan organization that is focused on ensuring human rights for all.

“Amnesty International just says the truth the way it is. It doesn’t beat around the bush. We have no political agenda, no religious, no economic, no orthodoxy. The only thing we do is we stand up for human rights,” he said.

Youth vs. corruption

During the summit, Shetty and other advocates urged the youth to take part in efforts to address corruption and seek accountability from officials.

“Corruption affects everybody, but there is no question that it affects the poor, the marginalized, the voiceless significantly more,” he said.

“Young people are standing up against injustice, against corruption. It’s not that you always win that battle, it’s a tough battle, but victories are not uncommon,” he added.

Thuli Madonsela, former public protector of South Africa who is in charge of investigating misconduct of government officials, said the problem of corruption is systemic all around world.

“Young people should use technology to hold governments accountable,” she said.

“They need to send strong messages to those who want to govern that say that if you don’t end corruption, we will not vote for you,” added Madonsela, who is also part of the team that drafted South Africa’s constitution signed by former president Nelson Mandela.

Nobel Peace Prize 2011 laureate Tawakkol Karman said states need to put into place legislation that tackles corruption and promotes transparency.

“If we want to fight corruption, we need a strong constitution, stable institutions and strict laws,” she said.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary: All suspects killed in police ops were drug dealers — ‘Can we trust the Philippine police?’ — Philippine Government seen as “not trustworthy” in Al Jazeera interview

October 7, 2017
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano defended anew President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war by making a sweeping claim that all 3,800 people killed under the deadly crackdown were all drug dealers. Screen grab from Al Jazeera’s YouTube video

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano defended anew President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war by making a sweeping claim that all 3,800 people killed under the deadly crackdown were all drug dealers, contradicting the Philippine National Police itself and several surveys.

Police data show 3,850 have “died in police operations,” suggesting these are drug suspects who engaged arresting officers in shootouts.

READ: PNP: 6,225 drug-related deaths, no extrajudicial killings

To be sure, the PNP uses the term “suspects” when referring to the fatalities. Under the Philippine law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

But when asked by British journalist Mehdi Hasan during a recent Al Jazeera interview if “every single one” of the 3,850 casualties in the drug war was a “criminal drug dealer,” Cayetano said: “Yes.”

Quizzed by Hasan about his basis for his claim considering Manila’s supposedly “not democratic way” of solving crime, Cayetano evaded the question and instead defended the police.

“You’re absolutely saying it as if you’re not on the ground,” Cayetano told Hasan, who, in turn, stressed that under normal procedures, drug suspects must be charged and tried first.

In response, Cayetano said: “So you mean in the US or in any country your show is shown, if someone pulls a gun on the police they have to bring them to court first before they fire back? The police are doing what they can.”

Duterte, who easily won the race to Malacañang last year on a brutal law-and-order platform, has stoked international alarm for activating his fierce anti-drug campaign.

Human rights watchdogs said most of the fatalities are extrajudicial killings committed by cops and unknown assailants—a claim that the government has vehemently denied by insisting that police are only killing in self-defense while gangsters are silencing potential witnesses.

But according to a latest Social Weather Stations poll, more than half of Filipinos believe that many of the victims killed by police in the government’s anti-drug campaign did not really put up armed resistance, contrary to the claims of authorities.

A separate SWS poll, meanwhile, revealed that seven out of 10 Filipinos are anxious that they, or anyone they know, might become victims of extrajudicial killings.

READ: SWS: Vast majority of Filipinos think drug suspects should be captured alive | SWS: Majority of Filipinos think ‘nanlaban’ victims didn’t really fight back

In the same interview with Al Jazeera, Cayetano maintained that there are no cases of summary executions in the country.

He also hit the supposed spread of wrong facts in the international community by human rights groups “associated” with the opposition and the Church.

“The point is Filipinos will not support human rights violations. We’re very spiritual people. Whether Muslim or Christian—Filipinos believe in the dignity of life,” he said.

Filipinos have mostly backed Duterte’s drug war even as critics condemned the alleged extrajudicial killings by cops. But the recent deaths of three teenagers in the country’s capital have triggered rare street protests and highlighted concerns about alleged police abuse.

READ: Child killings spark calls for UN probe — Human Rights Watch

‘Can we trust the Philippine police?’

Duterte early this year halted the drug operations nationwide, cussing the PNP as “corrupt to the core.”

He said 60 percent of the 160,000-force was rotten, needing retraining or booting out. A month-long lull followed, but the crackdown was later resumed.

READ: Bato suspends drug war for ‘internal cleansing’ of PNP | Duterte brings back police into war on drugs

Asked if the PNP can be trusted in carrying out the drug war considering the president’s previous diatribes against cops, Cayetano, in the same interview with Hasan, said Duterte was just using his colorful language.

“Last time I checked, hyperbole and figures of speech are allowed,” Cayetano told Hasan.

“We’re not saying we should trust them, we said we should follow the law which is presumption of regularity but investigate,” he added.

“The point is he’s (Duterte) trying to clean up the police and he admits that there is a problem.”

Asked by Hasan if all drug-related deaths are being investigated, Cayetano replied that “every single one” is under probe.

“Most independent observers have said they there have not been investigations of all those killings,” Hasan retorted.

“Independent investigators have seen the progress. It is the ideological and biased human rights groups,” Cayetano countered Hasan.

According to an updated police data, there are 2,290 “deaths under investigation,” which have already been determined to be “drug-related.”


Philippine National Police: 6,225 drug-related deaths between July 2016 and September 2017 — Only one extrajudicial killing — International human rights groups laugh, cry — More like 13,000 individuals killed

October 6, 2017
According to the Philippine National Police, there have been 6,225 drug-related deaths between July 2016 and September 2017. Despite this, the authorities claim that there has only been one extrajudicial victim under the current administration. AFP/Noel Celis

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos should not be worried for their lives as there has only been one case of extrajudicial killing under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine National Police claimed.

“The PNP protects every individual’s right to life. To allay or remove their fear, let it be known that under the present administration, there is only one case of extrajudicial killing or EJK for the period July 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017,” PNP said in a statement.

PNP noted that the possibility of being an EJK victim is “very remote, if we based it on facts and not on impression or perception.”

The statement came as a response the results of the latest Social Weather Station survey, which revealed that seven out of 10 Filipinos are anxious that they, or anyone they know, might become EJK victims.

READSWS: Vast majority of Filipinos think drug suspects should be captured alive

The only extrajudicial killing the PNP recognizes is the death of Catanduanes-based journalist Larry Que.

Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua and cop Vincent Tacorda had been implicated in Que’s case.

Tacorda is the whistleblower who claimed he was ordered by his superiors to kill drug personalities. He, however, recanted his statement after “serious soul searching.”

Administrative Order 35

During the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council in May, Alan Peter Cayetano — then a senator — argued that only killings that are covered by Administrative Order 35. AO35, which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2012, created the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.

“Administrative Order 35 signed by then President Benigno Aquino III defined EJKs as the killing of the members or advocates of cause-oriented organizations like labor, environment or media activists resulting in very low number of supposed EJKs in the past administration,” Cayetano said after human rights groups and administration critics characterized drug-related killings as extrajudicial.

READ: Cayetano uses restrictive EJK definition, experts say

But Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates said in May that the strict terminology in AO 35 specifically applies to the cases handled by the IAC, which was tasked to probe clear-cut EJK cases rampant that time.

PAHRA Secretary General Rose Trajano said that the government cannot quote AO 35 because “the general definition of EJKs, even at the international level, is any death sanctioned or with the acquiescence of the government outside the due process or the rule of law.”

“What was mentioned in the definition of AO 35 just represents a prioritization of extrajudicial killings that were happening at that time and right now we know that the situation has changed,” Human Rights Commissioner Karen Gomez Dumpit said in an interview at the time.

“Based on the press statement by Professor Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, during his mission to the DR Congo in 2009, the international law definition of extrajudicial execution ‘encompasses any killing by government forces as well as killings by any other groups or individuals which the government fails to investigate, prosecute and punish when it is in a position to do so,’”CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia also said.

Also PNP: 6,225 drug-related deaths since July 2016

The SWS study also showed that nine out of 10 Filipinos believe it is important that authorities capture drug personalities alive.

As a response, PNP said “the drug suspects who surrendered and arrested alive comprise the approximate 99.98 percent results of the PNP campaign against illegal drugs.”

But PNP said there have been 6,225 drug-related deaths between July 2016 and September 2017.

The police said 3,850 have “died in police operations,” suggesting these are drug suspects who engaged arresting officers in shootouts; while the another 2,290 “deaths under investigation,” have already been determined to be “drug-related.”

READPNP: 6,225 drug-related deaths since July 2016

According to the #RealNumbersPH August 29 update, there were 3,811 drug personalities who died in anti-drug operations.

From July 1 to September 30, PNP conducted 71,393 anti-drug operations that resulted in the arrest of 109,090 drug offenders.

However, human rights groups estimate a higher death toll, with some estimates going as high as 13,000 individuals killed in the course of the administration’s anti-narcotics campaign.

“These actions proved that the PNP values the right to life of these unfortunate victims of illegal drug,” PNP said.

READ: SWS: Majority of Filipinos think ‘nanlaban’ victims didn’t really fight back

Philippines: ‘More poor dead in drug war because most pushers are poor’ — Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa says

October 3, 2017
Three of five Filipinos believe that only the poor are killed in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign, the Social Weather Stations said in its latest survey. AFP/Noel Celis

MANILA, Philippines — Poor people are more likely to be killed in the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign because there are more of them involved in selling drugs.

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa stressed this point on Tuesday in reaction to the a Social Weather Stations survey that found that three of every five Filipinos believe only the poor are killed in drug operations.

Image result for Ronald Dela Rosa, Photos

“Totoo naman talaga [na] panay mahihirap [ang namamatay],” Dela Rosa told reporters on the sidelines of the signing of a partnership between the PNP and Light Rail Transport Administration.

He added: “You have to understand the dynamics of drug pyramid. ‘Yung mayayaman na drug lord, iisa ang drug lord sa taas, pababa ‘yan. ‘Yung pinakamababa ‘yung street-pushing level, puro mahirap ‘yun.”

According to the SWS survey, 60 percent agreed – 33 percent strongly and 27 percent somewhat agreed – with the statement “rich drug pushers are not killed; only the poor ones are killed”.

Of the 1,200 respondents from Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, 23 percent disagreed – 12 percent somewhat and 11 percent strongly – while 17 percent were undecided.

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The poll was conducted nationwide from June 23 to 26, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults aged 18 years and above.

Chief Inspector Kimberly Molitas, National Capital Region Police Office spokesperson, echoed Dela Rosa’s statement, saying the drug trade is more prevalent in poor areas.

According to the latest statistics released by the PNP, there have been 6,225 drug-related deaths since July 2016.

The PNP said 3,850 have “died in police operations,” suggesting these are drug suspects who engaged arresting officers in shootouts.

READ: Bato to drug war critics: You’re ingrates

‘Big fish are targeted too’

Asked whether the government’s drug war only targets poor drug pushers, Dela Rosa responded, “Bakit mahirap ba si Parojinog? Mahirap ba si Espinosa? Hindi naman.”

Image result for Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa

He was referring to the deaths of alleged narco-politicians Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife Susan, and Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa who were killed in police operations. (Note 1)

“Andami nang nakuha. I-cover niyo yung mga nakuha,” the police chief told reporters.

The Senate public order committee report said the killing of Espinosa was premeditated and involved abuse of authority.

Last month, P1.3 million worth of illegal drugs were seized during a raid on a condominium in Mandaluyong City.

The suspected dealer, Jovet Atillano, is said to be a major distributor of illegal drugs in Metro Manila, Baguio City, Cebu and Boracay island.

Most of his clients are young professionals and affluent people, authorities said.

Molitas also denied that more operations are conducted in marginalized communities than posh areas.

“Drug operations is regionwide regardless if it’s a poor or affluent area,” she told

Note 1:  Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed in a “firefight” after allegedly resisting arrest inside the Baybay, Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail.

Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal


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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer


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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.


Image result for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

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Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

 (December 23, 2016)


 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa

Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file

President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Philippines: Doubts grow over Duterte drug war killings, poll shows — Might affect the legitimacy of the whole government

September 27, 2017


© AFP/File | Activists burn an effigy during a protest against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to denounce drug war killings and what they say is a slide towards tyranny

MANILA (AFP) – Nearly half of Filipinos believe police are killing innocent people in waging President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drugs war, according to survey results released Wednesday.Police have reported killing 3,850 suspected drug dealers who allegedly resisted arrest during a 15-month crackdown waged in the name of Duterte’s election campaign vow to rid society of narcotics.

Thousands of other people have been murdered in unexplained circumstances which rights groups partly attribute to vigilante death squads.

Previous surveys showed popular support for the crackdown. The latest poll by the respected Social Weather Station (SWS) was the first indication that significant numbers of Filipinos doubt the official version of the deaths.

“Forty-nine percent of the country agrees with the statement, ‘Many of those killed by the police in the anti-drug campaign are not really drug pushers’,” SWS said in a statement.

Twenty-three percent disagreed, while 27 percent were undecided, according to the Manila organisation, which surveyed 1,200 adults face-to-face across the country from June 23-26.

Twenty percent “strongly agree” and 34 percent “somewhat agree” that ‘Many of those killed by the police in the anti-drug campaign did not really fight against the police”, it added.

Eight percent strongly disagreed and 12 percent somewhat disagreed, with 25 percent undecided.

Duterte spokesman Ernesto Abella dismissed the poll findings.

“It seems the 2nd quarter Social Weather Stations survey contains leading and pointed questions that may have unduly influenced the answers of respondents,” Abella said in a statement.

National police spokesman Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said the poll findings were about “perception”, adding 85 police officers had also been killed and more than 200 wounded while enforcing the crackdown.

It was the first time such a figure had been given.

“It only shows that there was resistance and danger because we lost lives,” Carlos added.

Political analyst Javad Heydarian told AFP that while Filipinos backed the drug war, in principle, “they have consistently raised concern with extrajudicial killings as well as the reliability and professionalism of the national police”.

He added: “It certainly puts pressure on Duterte to instill more discipline within the law enforcement ranks.”

Dindo Manhit, president of the Manila-based policy think-tank Stratbase ADR Institute, said past SWS surveys consistently showed strong support for Duterte and his war on drugs.

“Once the public does not support government programmes it might affect the legitimacy of the whole government, and this is not good for a democratically elected president,” Manhit added.

Duterte has rejected international rights monitors’ warnings he could be orchestrating a crime against humanity.

Philippines Still in Denial on Human Rights — Rejects 55 Recommendations of United Nations Universal Periodic Review — Government of Lies, ‘Double speak’ and Impunity

September 26, 2017
“What does the Philippine government have to hide in terms of its human rights record? Either it is for human rights or it is against human rights and right now, at least with respect to the civil and political rights of our people in relation to the war on drugs, there is a lot of prevarication that is happening where the government is saying there’s nothing to worry, it’s not happening yet they’re not being transparent,” Commission on Human Rights chair Chito Gascon said. Senate PRIB/Albert Calvelo

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government appears to be “in denial” over the human rights situation in the country as it rejected 55 recommendations of United Nations member-states in its Universal Periodic Review, Commission on Human Rights Chair Chito Gascon said.

The Philippines only accepted 103 out of 257 recommendations from UN member-states and merely “noted” another 99. Meanwhile, 44 of the rejected recommendations pertained to extrajudicial killings linked to the administration’s so-called war on drugs.

“I don’t understand why Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the government as a whole views this as what they call a victory — because what did actually manifest in the international forum is that the Philippines is still in denial and is not prepared to accept its responsibilities on all aspects of human rights,” Gascon said in an interview with ANC on Tuesday.

Gascon noted that the Philippines accepted recommendations regarding economic, socio and cultural rights issues, rights of children, reproductive health measures, protection of women and LGBT concerns.

READ: Philippines rejects nations’ positions on drug war deaths | Ignoring issues raised, Philippines claims ‘victory’ in UN review

The Philippines, however, rejected the recommendations on “hard issues” such as deaths resulting from the anti-illegal drugs campaign and the proposed reinstatement of capital punishment in the country.

“This is where we, as a country, fell short in the course of that dialogue on the Universal Periodic Review,” he said.

Gascon added that almost every UN member-state expressed concern about conducting an independent investigation into the extrajudicial killings in the country.

“They spoke about ending impunity, they spoke about bringing the perpetrators to justice. That the Philippine government would outrightly reject this, essentially, because the theory they propounded was that they got it wrong, that there are no extrajudicial killings that are happening here,” Gascon said.

Double speak

The government’s rejection of allowing UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard to visit the country for an investigation and President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement on hosting a UN contingent to look into extrajudicial killings contradict each other, according to Gascon.

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Agnes Callamard

The president earlier said that he was considering to invite the UN to set up satellite offices across the country to monitor the police.

“So what are you hiding? That’s another thing — that Secretary Cayetano said that the Philippines has nothing to hide with respect to its human rights record yet it’s still afraid to invite the special rapporteurs to come in,” Gascon said.

Gascon also noted that Duterte did not grant clearance to the Philippine National Police to hand over all case folders involving deaths resulting from the drug war.

“There is a lot of prevarication that is happening where the government is saying there’s nothing to worry, it’s not happening yet they’re not being transparent,” the CHR chair said.

Malacañang, on the other hand, justified the government’s rejection of 154 of 257 rejections by the UN Human Rights Council.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said that the government was only exercising its prerogative to pursue an independent foreign policy.

“What really matters is that the United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted the Philippine report recognizing the country’s human rights record and commitments under the leadership of President Duterte,” Abella said.

READ: Palace justifies rejection of UN recommendations

The House of Representatives recently gave the CHR, which has been painted by Duterte and his allies as being biased for criminals and drug lords, a budget of P1,000 for 2018. House leaders said the CHR should also look into instances where non-state actors like criminals and the New People’s Army violate human rights. One example that House leaders gave was the NPA collecting money from politicians who want to campaign in rebel-influenced areas.

READ: House leaders: CHR commissioners ignorant of Constitution

The House has agreed to partially restore the proposed budget of the CHR after protests online and from the Senate, where lawmakers answer to a national constituency.


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