Posts Tagged ‘Philippine National Police’

Philippine National Police Criticized For Removing Police Proitection from Polictican Who Was Gunned Down Days Later

May 28, 2018
By:  – Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ
 / 06:27 PM May 28, 2018

APPEAL With the portrait of slain former La Union Rep. Eufranio Eriguel in the background, his widow, incumbent Rep. Sandra Eriguel, appeals to authorities to hasten the investigation of her husband’s murder. With the lawmaker is Senior Supt. Reynaldo Tamondong of the Ilocos regional police. FILE PHOTO

La Union 2nd Dist. Rep. Sandra Eriguel has urged her colleagues in the House of Representatives to “look into the actions of the Philippine National Police days before the brutal and cowardly murder” of her husband, former Rep. Eufranio Eriguel.

In a privilege speech late Monday, Sandra said that had local police officials acted on their request for police assistance, “the shooting incident could have been prevented and my husband would be alive today.”

Sandra revealed that hours before Eriguel was gunned down while giving a speech on May 12, the couple had pleaded with Police Senior Supt. Genaro Sapiera not to pull out “all of our security detail.”

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However, Sapiera, then the provincial director of La Union Provincial Police Office, said he was following orders from Police Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula, the regional director of PNP Regional Office 1.

Sandra added that the barangay chairman of Capas in Agoo municipality wrote a May 7 letter to then-Agoo police chief Police Chief Insp. Alfredo Padilla Jr. to seek police assistance during the general assembly of barangay election candidates that Eriguel was set to attend.

However, Padilla allegedly did not act on the said request.

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“Without our police security detail, each one of us was left vulnerable to any attack. But Congressman Franny never wavered in his resolve to be with and fight for the people,” Sandra said.

Sandra said the House could prevent such murders from being committed again.

“Sowing fear upon the people through intimidation and violence should never be the basis for voting our leaders, but rather, to vote freely and based on personal preference should be the basis for voting our leaders. Truly, violence has no place in any civilized society,” Sandra said.

“We also owe it to the people, most especially to the peace-loving people of La Union, to pass relevant laws that can stop this culture of violence. We must not let fear envelope our people and our nation. This must end here,” she added.

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“Moral Policing” Under Fire After Couple Beaten For Embracing in Public — Highlights need for professional policing, rule of law, due process

May 2, 2018

In a deplorable case of moral policing in Kolkata, a young couple travelling by metro last Monday night was reportedly thrashed by angry co-passengers for embracing in public. Eye-witness videos of the incident show the couple being harassed and physically assaulted at a metro station after they deboarded. Although no complaints have been filed at the time of writing, the incident has sparked protests calling for action against the assaulters.

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Read: Couple thrashed for ‘intimacy’ on Kolkata Metro

While moral policing is a menace across most parts of the country, the Kolkata incident has caught attention for a couple of reasons. First, the fact that it happened in a metro — a modern form of public transport that is considered to be relatively safer — has the public alarmed. Second, residents of Kolkata believe the city to be cosmopolitan and open-minded where women, particularly, enjoy safe public spaces. This doesn’t seem to reflect ground reality as several incidents including the 2012 Park Street rape case show. With each such incident Kolkata’s ‘bhadralok’ veneer stands exposed.

Ultimately, moral policing is a symptom of poor law and order. In Kolkata and Bengal, the politicization of the police force has created a culture of impunity where those affiliated to the ruling party of the day think they are above the law. This mentality percolates to the masses, making people think they can take the law into their own hands. This is precisely what happened in the metro incident where a group of commuters perceived something to be objectionable and decided to deal with it themselves. Only effective, professional policing can remedy this situation and encourage victims to come forward to register their complaints. Those standards are clearly missing in Bengal.


Epidemic of “extrajudicial killings” in the Philippines shows us what happens in society when rule of law and due process aren’t observed….

© AFP | Philippine police have said they have killed roughly 4,100 suspects who fought back during arrest, but rights groups allege the actual number is three times higher and accuse the authorities of murder

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Philippines: Commission on Human Rights says no need for international investigations if Duterte government “shows commitment to investigate killings linked to the war on drugs”

April 8, 2018
No need for International Criminal Court to meddle in the Philippines if…
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) – April 8, 2018 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — There is no need for international bodies to intervene in the human rights situation in the country if the government would show commitment to investigate killings linked to the war on drugs, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said yesterday.

The CHR called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately comply with the Supreme Court (SC) order to submit all data related to the bloody campaign against illegal drugs of the Duterte administration.

The commission said complying with the order is a first step to ensure that the rule of law still prevails in the country.

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“We are hopeful that the SC decision will help the commission in its independent probe of cases of extrajudicial killings through information and data sharing with the PNP,” the CHR said.

“If we can sustain development such as this, as well as expediently demonstrate that our judicial systems are functioning as they should, it will be a concrete manifestation that the state is willing and able to carry out investigation or prosecution – dispensing the need for international bodies to step in,” it added.

The CHR made the statement amid the preliminary investigation conducted by International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the human rights situation in the Philippines.

The probe prompted President Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the ICC.

The CHR said the release of the drug war files could help in independent investigations on extrajudicial killings and human rights violations.

The commission earlier asked the PNP to open their case folders, including police blotters, spot reports, investigation documents, forensic records, inventory reports and affidavits.

“We look forward to the PNP’s cooperation without condition on this matter,” the CHR said.

“We believe that their swift action would allow the wheels of justice to turn faster, given the clamor for transparency and accountability for alleged human rights violations linked to the government’s anti-drug campaign,” it added.

The CHR reiterated the need to ensure accountability for victims of the war on drugs.

“In the spirit of due process and the rule of law, these cases need to be tried in proper courts and should not remain as mere files stacked in shelves to gather dust,” it said.

The human rights body has called on the Department of Justice to file cases against police officers involved in so-called “nanlaban” cases.

Meanwhile, the consultative committee (Concom) created by the Duterte administration to study revision of the Constitution proposed to expand the functions of the CHR amid criticisms on its mandate, which is to protect the people against government interference.

Former chief justice and Concom member Reynato Puno said the CHR should look into the human rights violations of both government and non-government officials.  – With Robertzon Ramirez  


What is the Philippine National Police hiding?

April 6, 2018
 / 05:26 AM April 06, 2018

What is the Philippine National Police hiding? In the early days of the Duterte administration’s so-called war on drugs, the PNP was quick to share statistics on the number of suspected drug “personalities” killed. Then the flood of information that was eagerly shared turned into a trickle, and police sources and spokespersons became much more guarded. But when the PNP was haled before the Supreme Court, and the Court asked for documents related to the official claim that some 3,800 suspects had been legally killed in police operations (Kipo), the national police organization refused altogether.

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Philippine National Police chief General Ronald Dela Rosa whispers to President Rodrigo Duterte during the announcement of the disbandment of police operations against illegal drugs at the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines on Jan 29, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a motion for reconsideration on behalf of the PNP, arguing that operational security and even national security would be compromised. “By requiring the respondents to submit the aforementioned information and documents, the Court has ventured into unwarranted factual inquiries,” Calida said. This was an impertinent argument, in both of the traditional senses: It was irrelevant, and it was discourteous. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, dealing with real national security issues, complied with Court directives in the highest-profile cases; in one executive session, the military leadership briefed the justices on the factual context of martial law in Mindanao.

What does the Supreme Court want from the PNP? A look at the list of documents ordered by the Court shows nothing that can possibly be considered a threat to national security. And police operations need not be compromised by court testimony (otherwise, no police investigator will testify in any court).

The order for information includes:

-List of persons killed in legitimate police operations from July 1, 2016, to Nov. 30, 2017.

-List of deaths under investigation from July 1, 2016, to Nov. 30, 2017.

-List of Chinese and Filipino-Chinese drug lords who have been neutralized.

-List of drugs involved whether shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), cocaine, marijuana, opioids and other illegal substances.

-Comparative tables on index crimes.

-List of warrants and warrantless arrests in high-value target police operations.

-List of cases under investigation under the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service.

Where is the threat to national security, the possible compromise of continuing police operations, that the PNP through Calida alleges?

On April 3, the Supreme Court announced that it had rejected Calida’s motion and gave the PNP 15 days from receipt of notice to comply with the order.

Three senators allied with the Duterte administration welcomed the order. Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said, “Dapat yun (it’s only right), they will be able to submit those.” Sen. Joel Villanueva aired his hope that the order would “trigger the PNP to evaluate and review its procedure in dealing with the war on drugs.” And Sen. Panfilo Lacson, himself a former chief of the PNP, welcomed the order because “no one is above the law.” He also said, in a mix of English and Filipino: “Now it’s the Supreme Court which demanded or ordered them to submit all the details of the more than 3,000 deaths on account of legitimate operations in the anti-drugs operations. That’s only right.”

Malacañang said it had “no other alternative except to comply, subject probably to certain security checks or requirements.” Speaking for the Palace, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said, in Filipino: “We don’t see  any potential effect [on police operations] because our law enforcement agencies are not hiding  anything with these documents, except for the  security of witnesses.”

If that were in fact true, why did the PNP and Calida insist otherwise?

It would be a boon to the Philippine democratic project, now under strain, if the PNP were to immediately and fully comply with the Supreme Court directive. Under the circumstances, however, we cannot rule out a belated attempt, even from the Executive, to continue to deny the Court the information it requires. A dispensation that does not want to be transparent about its own operations will benefit from the distraction of yet another constitutional crisis.

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Philippine Supreme Court Orders Government To Turn Over Documents of Drug War Killings

April 3, 2018

By:  – Reporter / @T2TupasINQ
 / 02:40 PM April 03, 2018
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Catholics light a candle beside mock chalk figure representing an extra judicial killing victim during a prayer rally condemning the government’s war on drugs in Manila. File photo AP / NOEL CELIS

The Supreme Court (SC) gave the Executive Department, through the Office of the Solicitor General, 15 days to submit details of the 3,806 killed under legitimate police operations from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017 in connection with the government’s war on drugs.

During Tuesday’s en banc in Baguio City, the high court denied the motion for reconsideration submitted by Solicitor General Jose Calida to reconsider its Dec. 5, 2017 order on the submission of records related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

“The Court denied the Solicitor General’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s order dated 5 December 2017 and directed respondents to comply with the said order by submitting the required reports within a period of 15 days from notice,” the high court said.

In his motion for reconsideration, Calida told the high court that the order is “patently irrelevant.”

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Philippine National Police chief General Ronald Dela Rosa whispers to President Rodrigo Duterte during the announcement of the disbandment of police operations against illegal drugs at the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines on Jan 29, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

He said the SC cannot declare a law or ordinance as unconstitutional based on the abuses committed by its implementor.

“The criterion by which the validity of the statute or ordinance is to be measured is the essential basis for the exercise of power, and not a mere incidental result arising from its exertion. This is logical,” Calida said.

“Just imagine the absurdity of situations when laws may be declared unconstitutional just because the officers implementing them have acted arbitrarily,” Calida said adding that if the basis would be the abuses committed by the police officers, then the Revised Penal Code should have been declared unconstitutional.

The order was issued by Senior Associate Justice, now acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio following an oral argument in connection with the two consolidated petitions filed by the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) through lawyer Joel Butuyan on behalf of the residents of 26 barangays in San Andres Bukid, Manila City and the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) led by lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno.

The high court wants the Office of the Solicitor General to submit the following:

  • Names, addresses, gender of those killed
  • Place, date and time of drug ops
  • Names of PNP team leader and team members who participated in the operation and the pre-operation plan
  • Post operations report
  • Whether search warrants or warrants of arrests were issued
  • Names of representatives of media, NGOs and barangay officials present during the police operations

On those “death under investigation,” the high court asked the submission of the following:

  • Names, addresses, gender, ages of those killed
  • Date, time and place of the killing
  • Scene Of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team leader and members who investigated the killing
  • Investigation reports
  • Charges have been filed against the suspects if there are any

The high court also asked the government lawyers to submit the records of all buy-bust operations conducted in San Andres Bukid, the subject of one of the two petitions, the pre-operations plan and post-operations plan.


Gov’t ordered to yield PNP’s voluminous records on drug deaths

SolGen moves to stop SC from acquiring details on drug deaths

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 (Includes FT Op-Ed)


All this makes one wonder: does the Philippines know what it is doing with China? In the South China Sea?  Benham Rise? Is Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the ICC, and is Agnes Callamard  (Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions at the UN) correct in saying the Philippines is guilty of gross illegalities under international law? Is the Philippine government being run by people who don’t understand the law? Is the move for a “Federal form of Government” based upon any good thinking?

Philippines: Rule of Law Gunned Down

April 3, 2018


Composite photo shows (from left) Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim and Peter Co. The Department of Justice is set to conduct a preliminary investigation on their case on April 12.

2 respondents in Espinosa, Lim case already dead

Kristine Joy Patag ( – April 3, 2018 – 12:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — Two of the respondents in the high-profile drug case filed against confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa are already dead, documents showed.

The Department of Justice has issued subpoena or summons to the respondents in the drug case filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for preliminary investigation on April 12.

READ: DOJ summons Espinosa, Co for drug raps probe

The summons, however, showed that respondents Max Miro and Nelson “Jun” Pepito are already dead.

Pepito was gunned down on Dec. 1, 2017 by two unidentified men riding a motorcycle. The police report, attached to the subpoena, states that Pepito was shot at 6:50 a.m. in Albuera, Leyte.

The authorities have yet to identify the perpetrators in the killing of Pepito.

Respondent Miro was killed by police in Barangay Bantigue, Ormoc City on March 10.

Others named as respondents in the case are high-profile inmate Peter Co, Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim, Lovely Impal, Ruel Malindangan and 11 others only known through their aliases.

READ: DOJ clears Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim of drug raps

The probe will now be handled by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan.

The three-member panel was created by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II after criticisms were thrown against the Department of Justice for dropping the case.

Assistant State Prosecutor Michael John Humarang and Regional Trial Court Judge Aristotle Reyes, former Assistant State Prosecutor, cited the “weak complaint” filed by the police.

The PNP-CIDG has admitted that they did not attach Espinosa’s confession at the Senate to their complaint, but said that they are confident that their appeal can result in the indictment of the respondents.

Humarang and Reyes are currently being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation for their possible offenses when they junked the complaint.



Philippines: 7 killed, 811 arrested in Holy Week drug ops

April 2, 2018
By: – Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
 / 11:40 AM April 02, 2018
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Seven individuals were killed while 811 others were arrested in the five-day Holy Week anti-illegal drugs operations of the police force, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa disclosed on Monday.

“There was no letup in our anti-drug operations during the Lenten Season,” De la Rosa said in a press conference.

He noted that the PNP conducted 505 anti-illegal drugs operations nationwide from Holy Wednesday to Easter Sunday or March 28 to April 1.

Of the seven people killed, four were from Region 3; and one each from Region 4-A, Region 12, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the PNP chief said.

But De la Rosa did not mention the circumstances that led to the killing of the seven drug suspects.

Often, however, police would say that drug suspects were killed as they fought back law enforcers during anti-drug operations.

De la Rosa also said there were no Tokhang operations during the Holy Week in keeping with the PNP’s commitment that its house-to-house visits to drug suspects would only be conducted during office hours starting last January.

The so-called war on drugs is being subjected to a preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity committed by Mr. Duterte for supposedly directing police to carry out the ruthless campaign that purportedly victimized mostly the poor.

Earlier this year, the PNP reported that 65 drug suspects were killed from December 5, 2017 to February 14 after Duterte ordered the police back at the helm of the government’s anti-drug drive. Duterte briefly tasked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to lead the campaign.

Also during Monday’s press conference, the PNP highlighted the social reintegration program for the drug surrenderers with De la Rosa receiving P1.5 million worth of donations in cash and livelihood starter tools.

To benefit from these donations were the community-based reformation centers initiated by the PNP and supported by the local government units, and other volunteers.

The Rotary Club of Camp Crame, led by its president, Police Director Ramon Puruganan, PNP Director for Comptrollership, under the club’s “Katok sa Puso Advocacy Program,” donated P500,000.

The other P500,000 came from proceeds of the 1st Chief PNP Run “Takbo Kontra Droga,” which was initiated by the Police Community Relations Group in partnership with Run Manila and other non-government organizations (NGOs).

The livelihood starter tools worth another P500,000 were donated by 7-11 convenience stores, the Public Safety Mutual Benefit Funds, Inc. (PSMBFI), Globe Telecom, Police Cavalier Association, Inc. (PCAI), and 37 other different NGOs affiliated with the Association of Chiefs of Police of the Philippines, Inc. /kga

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Philippines: Top Former Law Enforcement Officer in custody after raid on metamphetamine lab — “Breaking Bad” quagmire — News publisher killed to keep lab secret

March 29, 2018


The Scene of the Crime Operatives conducts an inventory of the materials and equipment used in the manufacture of shabu in the clandestine drug lab discovered in Barangay Palta, Virac, Catanduanes. Bicol Standard

Ex-NBI director tagged in Catanduanes mega shabu lab surrenders to NBI

Kristine Joy Patag ( – March 28, 2018 – 4:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — The former National Bureau of Investigations acting director charged in connection with the mega shabu laboratory in Catanduanes has surrendered to authorities, the NBI said on Wednesday.

NBI Spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin, in a press conference, said that Augusto Eric Isidoro “voluntarily surrendered to the NBI on the account of a warrant issued against him for violations of Republic Act 9165.”

Isidoro, former NBI acting director for Region 7, has a pending arrest warrant from the Virac, Catanduanes Regional Trial Court Branch 43.

Isidoro and eight others are facing drug charges in connection with the police-led aid of the “mega shabu lab” on Nov. 26, 2016.

Believed to be the owner of property where the laboratory was constructed is a certain Sarah Sarmiento and leased by Angelica Balmadrid, who is allegedly the common-law wife of Isidoro.

Others charged in the case are:

  • Xian Xian Wang
  • Pido Bonito
  • Paolo Uy
  • Jayson Gonzales Uy
  • Lorenzo Flores Piñera II, alias Lawrence, Kidot
  • Paolo Wee Palisoc
  • Phung Yuan Estorco
  • Sheng Wang

Seized in the shabu laboratory are 22.509 kilograms of crystallized metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and 359.75 kg of Ephedrine, both dangerous drugs. Chemicals and equipment for the manufacture of illegal drugs were also confiscated during the search.

READ: House to probe mega shabu lab in Catanduanes

Lavin said that Isidoro is currently in the custody of the NBI. The bureau is waiting for the court to issue a commitment order for his transfer of detention.

Court transfer request

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II also asked the Supreme Court to transfer the case to a Makati or Quezon City court.

In a four-page letter addressed to Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, Aguirre asked the SC to allow the transfer of hearing to a court in Makati or Quezon City.

The justice chief cited the motion for inhibition filed by state prosecutors handling the case.

In the said motion, state prosecutors noted that when the police arrived at the warehouse on Nov. 26, 2016, they saw Presiding Judge Lelu Contreras with the wife of Isidoro.

“With due respect, the foregoing circumstances fosters a strong belief on the part of the prosecution that the Presiding Judge cannot handle this case with the required cold neutrality of an impartial judge and places in grave doubt the integrity of her eventual disposition,” the prosecutors said in their motion.

Aguirre, in his letter to Carpio, also cited the supposed “politically connections” of some of the accused.

“The transfer of the venue will also insulate the proceedings from influence or threats from any groups affiliated with the accused,” the justice chief added.


See also:

Politicians, NBI chief charged in Catanduanes shabu drug trade

Philippines: Communists dispute ‘trend of massive surrenders’ — Philippine government distorting the news? — Philippine National Police “not telling the truth”?

March 26, 2018


In this December 12 file photo, members of the communist New People’s Army surrender to authorities. John Unson, file

( – March 26, 2018 – 2:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — So many have reportedly surrendered to the government that the New People’s Army should have already been defeated twice over, the Communist Party of the Philippines said Monday to dispute a supposed “trend of massive surrenders” by guerrillas.
In a statement, the CPP’s information bureau disputed a claim by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that there have been 4,356 “NPA surrenderees” between January and March when security forces estimated there were 3,700 NPAs as of January 2018.
According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, 3,730 of those who surrendered are from the so-called “Militia ng Bayan” or are supporters. Around 97 percent of surrenderees are from the Caraga and Davao regions, the military also said.
“So, ‘Congratulations!’ are in order for Lorenzana and (President Rodrigo) Duterte, because, by June, they would have defeated the NPA at least two times over,” it also said.
“There are, of course, some members of the NPA who have surrendered. That is not being denied. It is the natural course of war,” it said, citing Noel Legazpi, a former spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines who has surrendered to the government.
It added that most of those who surrendered are unarmed civilians who “have not been charged in court nor has evidence been put forward against them” but whom the government calls members of the NPA.
The surrenders have been credited to the Comprehensive Local Integration Program, a Department of the Interior and Local Government campaign to give former rebels financial and livelihood assistance to help them go back to mainstream society.
Officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao have been calling for a similar program for former members of the Abu Sayyaf who have been convinced to lay down their arms. The regional government has, in the meantime, been implementing its Program Against Violence and Extremism, which is assisting 173 former Abu Sayyaf members.
Image result for duterte and dela rosa, photos

No ‘step up’ in guerrilla operations


In a separate statement, the CPP also disputed Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa’s claims of stepped up operations by guerilla assassination squads.
“Partisan operations are part of the regular operations of the NPA. These units are dispatched from the guerrilla units of the NPA,” it said.
It said there is no basis for dela Rosa’s claim, adding that the administration may be “doing some scenario-building to hatch up another tyrannical scheme.”
The CPP said “the PNP plan to have a group of ‘seasoned retired police officers’ to train PNP field personnel on ‘anti-sparrow’ (from Special Partisan Unit, or SPARU) operations sounds shady.”
It said the plan may be similar to the use of “secret marshalls” by security forces in “anti-sparrow” operations in the late 1980s
The “secret marshals” were reportedly used to attack activists, especially among urban poor groups. The operations resulted in extrajudicial executions or “salvagings”, the CPP said. — with Artemio Dumlao in Baguio City


Philippine police shoot dead 13 as Duterte quits ICC — police say they have killed roughly 4,100 suspects who fought back during arrest

March 22, 2018


© AFP | Philippine police have said they have killed roughly 4,100 suspects who fought back during arrest, but rights groups allege the actual number is three times higher and accuse the authorities of murder

MANILA (AFP) – Philippine police said Thursday they had shot dead 13 drug suspects, just days after President Rodrigo Duterte moved to take the country out of the International Criminal Court over its inquiry into his deadly drug war.The suspects were killed Wednesday in the northern province of Bulacan, an official statement said, an area where police have previously launched lethal crackdowns on illegal drugs.

“Bulacan police are continuously and relentlessly implementing their intensified campaign against illegal drugs,” the statement said, adding there had been more than 100 arrests.

The war crimes tribunal, based in The Hague, last month launched a preliminary inquiry into Duterte’s bloody crackdown on narcotics, amid allegations Philippine security forces may have committed crimes against humanity.

Philippine police have said they have killed roughly 4,100 suspects who fought back during arrest, but rights groups allege the actual number is three times higher and accuse the authorities of murder.

The tribunal opened in 2002 to try abuses in countries where national courts cannot or will not prosecute. Manila in 2011 ratified the Rome Statute that created the court.

Manila gave official notice to the United Nations last week that it would withdraw, days after Duterte announced his country would quit the court over alleged “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” against his government’s rights record.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said last Friday the Philippines was pushing back against “the well-orchestrated campaign to mislead the international community, to crucify President Duterte… by distorting the human rights situation in the country”.

The tribunal has urged Manila to reconsider its decision, adding that officially quitting the court requires a year’s notice and does not preclude its preliminary inquiry into the drug war killings, which have drawn international concern.

Duterte, who is buoyed by high popularity ratings at home, has fiercely defended the drug war as a battle to bring safety to the nation’s 100 million people.

He has frequently urged authorities to kill drug suspects while promising to protect police from legal sanction.