Posts Tagged ‘Philippine National Police’

Philippines: Police Shooting Death of Kian Loyd delos Santos Results in One Chief Superintendent Sacked in Earliest Phase of the Investgation

August 22, 2017
Dalawang pulis ang umamin na sila nga daw ’yung nakaakbay kay

Kian at si Kian nga ang nasa video. Taliwas po dun sa kanilang sinabi nung una na iyon daw ay informant (Two of the policemen admitted that they were the ones with arms around Kian’s shoulders and that Kian is the one in the video, contrary to their initial statement that the one with them was an informant),” IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo told reporters. Edd Gumban, File

MANILA, Philippines – Two of three policemen linked to the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos have admitted they were the persons in civilian clothes seen dragging the teenage student along an alley on the night of Aug. 16, as shown on a video recording of the closed circuit television installed in the area, the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS) said yesterday.

This developed as the director of the Northern Police District (NPD), Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo, who claimed that Delos Santos was a drug courier, was sacked yesterday.

Dalawang pulis ang umamin na sila nga daw ’yung nakaakbay kay Kian at si Kian nga ang nasa video. Taliwas po dun sa kanilang sinabi nung una na iyon daw ay informant (Two of the policemen admitted that they were the ones with arms around Kian’s shoulders and that Kian is the one in the video, contrary to their initial statement that the one with them was an informant),” IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo told reporters.

He did not identify the two police officers.

“I’m not sure why they initially denied that (they were in the video), but they confirmed that with our investigators who put it on record,” Triambulo added.

In a report by GMA News, a witness presented by the police, drug suspect Renato Loberas, earlier claimed it was not Delos Santos who was being dragged away as recorded on CCTV.

Following the developments, Triambulo said the IAS has found sufficient basis to push through with the pre-charge investigation against Caloocan City Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jerwin Cruz and PO1 Jeremias Pereda for lapses that led to the death of the Grade 11 student.

“There is obviously something irregular in their police operation because someone died. There are lapses in the conduct of the operation because their primary function is to make arrests and not to kill,” Triambulo said.

The IAS chief said that after finding probable cause, the IAS can file an administrative case of serious irregularity in the performance of duty or grave misconduct by the police officers.

He explained that this will pave the way for the summary hearing procedure where the three policemen will have the opportunity to defend themselves.

Chief Insp. Amor Cerillo, the precinct commander and supervisor of the police operatives, is included in the IAS investigation under the command responsibility doctrine, according to Triambulo.
“Under command responsibility, as provided in (Republic Act) 8551, the immediate supervisor is included in the investigation,” he noted.

The IAS will submit today to PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa its initial findings on the investigation in the police operation that led to Delos Santos’ death.

NPD chief relieved

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa ordered the administrative relief of Northern Police District (NPD) director Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo to give way to an impartial investigation.
“Dahil sa nangyari, kasama na ang command responsibility sa kanya para mabilis ’yung pag-imbestiga ng kaso (Because of what happened, Fajardo is included in the command responsibility to speed up the investigation on the case),” Dela Rosa said.

Fajardo will be placed at the Personnel Administrative Holding Unit of the PNP at Camp Crame while relieved Caloocan City Police Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna will be detailed at the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit at the National Capital Region Police Office in Bicutan, Taguig City.

Earlier, Fajardo said Delos Santos used to sell 10 grams of shabu worth P18,000 a day in their area before he was killed by police operatives.

He said a gram of shabu could cost about P8,000-P9,000, depending on its quality or grade.

“Shabu is sold as isang bulto (one bulk), equal to five grams… So, dalawang bulto ’yung (two bulks are) 10 grams na nasa (which cost) P18,000 ’yung recovered kay (from) Kian,” Fajardo explained.

Fajardo said the Caloocan City Police have witnesses to testify to Delos Santos’ alleged involvement in drug operations as the runner.

He added that the pushers now use minors as their runners. 
He said Delos Santos was newly identified in the police intelligence network and was known in their neighborhood to be a runner. He said the source and recipients of the drugs the boy was peddling remain under investigation.

“Ang tawag nga dati diyan ay (They used to call Kian) addict, pusher. Now na namatay na, mabait na sya(that he’s dead, he became a good person). Lumalabas na sinasakyan nila na mabait na ito (It’s turning out that the public is riding on his ‘good image’),” Fajardo noted.

He, however, admitted that the intelligence information did not indicate that Delos Santos was a minor.

9 more cops

The IAS is also looking for about nine more cops believed to be part of the deadly police operation.

Triambulo said records submitted by the Caloocan City Police indicated that there were 13 police officers who took part in the Oplan Galugad.

He said the investigators went back to the area to conduct ocular inspection. He also said the IAS would request Dela Rosa to order the relief of the remaining policemen, place them under restrictive custody and disarm them to encourage witnesses to come forward without any fear of retaliation.

Pro-Duterte fiscal won’t handle Kian case – Aguirre

The Caloocan City prosecutor whom Sen. Franklin Drilon accused of prejudging the death of Delos Santos will not handle the case, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said yesterday.

Aguirre assured Drilon that Assistant City Prosecutor Darwin Cañete would no longer be involved in the imminent preliminary investigation on criminal charges expected to be filed by Delos Santos’ family against the policemen behind the teenager’s death.

“This exclusion is precisely done to avoid any purported prejudgment from being present in his resolution of the case if the same is raffled to him,” Aguirre said, explaining that Cañete was only tasked to assist in the fact-finding probe upon request of the local police due to his availability, being a resident in the city.

Aguirre further bared that cases in the Caloocan City prosecutor’s office are raffled among prosecutors to ensure impartiality, unlike in other cities where cases are simply assigned to investigating prosecutors.

With these reasons, Aguirre stressed that there is no need to remove Cañete from the case – as sought by Drilon – since there is no preliminary investigation yet.

“I simply cannot order the relief of Cañete from the case of Kian delos Santos. In the first place he is not handling the case. No case has yet been filed. How can I relieve a prosecutor from a case which he is not handling? How can I relieve him from handling a case that has yet to be filed?” Aguirre pointed out.

Still, he assured the opposition senator of fairness in the resolution of the murder charges that the Delos Santos family intends to file against the policemen.  – With Edu Punay

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/23/1731798/its-kian-video-cops-admit-npd-chief-axed

 

Philippines: Mass Murder in Drug Areas Legally, Morally Wrong — Teaching Police To Be Corrupt Murderers, Not Public Servants

August 22, 2017
 / 05:12 AM August 22, 2017

Three days after the death of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in the hands of Caloocan City policemen during a drug raid — and after the public appears to have overcome its shock and is now expressing outrage at the brutal manner of his extinction — the cops trotted out an alleged drug suspect who said he had transacted with the young man on drug buys at least twice a week.

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa chimed in with his own sensational claim — that Kian was not only a drug courier but was in fact working for his father and uncles.

Kian’s father, Zaldy delos Santos, strenuously denied the charge, and went on to challenge the cops who had killed his boy to undergo a drug test along with him.

The chair of Barangay 160 in Caloocan had earlier said neither father nor son was on the community’s drug watch list.

So how did Kian end up a target of the police?

If the police knew, as they claim now, that he pushed drugs, what was their basis for the information, since even the barangay apparently had no idea of it?

Why did it take three days for another alleged drug suspect to corroborate the PNP’s claims?

And, more bafflingly — given the severity of the police’s intensified “one-time, big-time” operations against drug networks that in recent days have resulted in mass deaths in various places (32 in Bulacan, 25 in Manila) — if this guy regularly dealt with Kian in drug transactions, why is he alive and Kian dead? How did he manage to escape the dragnet? When and where was he apprehended?

Or is it more likely, as many suspect, that the police are engaging in frantic damage control in an attempt to douse seething public anger at the killing of the 17-year-old?

(Autopsy results showed three gunshot wounds on the boy — in the back and behind and inside the left ear.)

Perhaps noting the change in the national mood, majority senators have issued a statement condemning Kian’s killing and calling for a Senate investigation to “determine the accountability of the PNP in the conduct of the campaign against illegal drugs that may have resulted in unnecessary and unjustified deaths and/or killings.”

Which leads one to remember the last Senate hearings related to the government’s so-called war on drugs, with hundreds of questionable deaths of drug suspects tallied by then, and the chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, Sen. Richard Gordon, concluding with a straight face that no extrajudicial killings were happening in the country.

One is moved to wonder: Did that blanket absolution empower the police to commit even more abusive acts? To what degree?

Sen. Ralph Recto wants to take another tack — to examine the PNP’s record and methods when it presents its budget request for 2018. The PNP is asking for a staggering P900 million to fund “Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded,” its antidrug operations, next year.

Said Recto in a statement: “Before such campaign is reloaded with funds, questions as to how it will be implemented must first be asked by the institution which will approve that request — Congress.”

The rising public disgust at the PNP’s draconian hand might now force Congress to ask the hard questions, such as: How exactly does the PNP use its vast intelligence funds, given what appears, for instance, to be the sloppy, haphazard work that preceded the bloody raid on Kian’s community? By what mechanism does the police sift rumor from fact—a distinction that has become a matter of life and death for many in these times of official impunity?

As it is, the PNP chief’s belated and belabored explanations on the alleged links of Kian and his family to illegal drugs do the police force no good; at the very least, they render its research suspect and the police as amateurs who appear to be fundamentally untrained in dealing with an allegedly armed 17-year-old drug suspect without the loss of life. Why should the people’s money further fund the PNP’s trigger-happy ways?

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/106541/damage-control-2#ixzz4qUV5Ugnc
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‘We’re the victims,’ says father of young Filipino shot dead in war on drugs

August 21, 2017

Reuters

MANILA (Reuters) – Hundreds of neighbors and left-wing activists marched and lit candles near the spot where a 17-year-old high school student was shot dead by police last week in President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs.

Image result for school boy holds up a placard at the wake of Kian Loyd delos Santos

Residents and protesters hold lighted candles at the wake of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old high school student, who was among the people shot dead last week in an escalation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs in Caloocan city, Metro Manila, Philippines August 21, 2017. (Photo by Erik De Castro/Reuters)

Heavy rain did not stop people protesting against the death of Kian Loyd delos Santos, one of more than 90 people gunned down in the capital and two adjacent provinces in the last week.

The 34th anniversary of the assassination of democracy icon Benigno Aquino, the husband of former president Corazon, also turned into a protest against the boy’s death.

“Please be fair,” the student’s father, Zaldy delos Santos, told police. “We are the victims here. We are the ones you should help.”

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A woman cries as she carries her baby after her husband was among those killed during anti-drug operations in Caloocan city, Metro Manila, Philippines August 17, 2017. (Photo by Erik De Castro/Reuters)

He made the appeal after authorities went on the offensive to defend the police action on Monday, saying there was information indicating the boy was a drug courier and addict.

But initial forensic evidence showed there was no gunfight and the three bullet wounds indicated the student was shot at close range in the back of the head.

Image result for school boy holds up a placard at the wake of Kian Loyd delos Santos

A school boy holds up a placard at the wake of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old high school student, who was among the people shot dead last week in an escalation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs in Caloocan city, Metro Manila, Philippines August 21, 2017. Erik De Castro

The head of the Public Attorney’s Office, Persida Acosta, told reporters she was recommending murder charges against the officers involved based on the initial autopsy report.

“Murder charges will most likely be filed because of the location of the entry wounds,” Acosta said in a television interview.

Neighbors, teachers and classmates of the boy also vouched for his good character. The education ministry issued a statement condemning the police action.

“I am not tolerating abuses,” national police chief Ronald dela Rosa said, asking for public understanding.

More than 12,500 people, many small-time drug users and dealers, have been killed since Duterte took office in June 2016. Police say about 3,500 of those killed were shot by officers in self-defense.

Human rights monitors believe many of the remaining two thirds were killed by assassins operating with police backing or by police disguised as vigilantes – a charge the police deny.

(Story refiles to show Benigno husband of Corazon in paragraph 3.)

Additiong reporting by Roli Ng; Wriing by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Nick Macfie

A rusty revolver is seen near the body of a man, who police said was killed by police operatives, and two sachets of “Shabu” or methampethamine chloride were found on his pockets in Manila, Philippines August 17, 2017. (Photo by Erik De Castro/Reuters)

A rusty revolver is seen near the body of a man, who police said was killed by police operatives, and two sachets of “Shabu” or methampethamine chloride were found on his pockets in Manila, Philippines August 17, 2017. (Photo by Erik De Castro/Reuters)

Philippines: Student executed by police in Philippines’ drug war — “I think it is our obligation to express our condemnation.” — The death toll could reach 60,000, if the current rate of killing continues

August 21, 2017

By Lindsay Murdoch
Sydney Morning Herald

Philippine police claimed it was an encounter with a drug suspect in a dark alley.

But CCTV footage shows that 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos was dragged past a basketball court into a dead-end screaming, “Please can I go home. I have school tomorrow”.

Witnesses say delos Santos was handed a gun and ordered to run.

His dead body was found in a fetal position, wearing a blue shirt and boxer shorts, a gun in his left hand.

The execution was one of 81 deaths in the bloodiest five days yet of president Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs.

Children as young as three have become what Mr Duterte describes as “collateral damage” in the crackdown where hooded hit-men and police have killed thousands of Filipinos, most of them in crime-prone urban slums.

But the killing of delos Santos has resonated across the Philippines in a way that none other has done since the bloodshed began when Mr Duterte took office in June last year.

Church leaders have led the outcry, decreeing that church bells will be rung for 15 minutes every night for three months to raise alarm over the escalating killings.

And Mr Duterte’s powerful allies in the Philippine senate have broken ranks and signed a resolution condemning “the recent spate of abuses by police resulting in excessive and unnecessary deaths in the conduct of the campaign against drugs”.

The senate majority bloc also agreed to set up a new inquiry into the killings, including that of delos Santos in Caloocan City in Manila metropolis last Wednesday night.

Philippine vice president Leni Robredo explained the backlash against Mr Duterte, saying “you know, this is something personal to me because he (delos Santos) was the same age as my youngest daughter. That’s why when these things happen, you will think that if it happened to him, it could also happen to our children”.

“This is saddening. Now Kian gives it a human face. How many Kians have we had? How many more Kians will follow? That’s why when this happens, I think it is our obligation to express our condemnation,” she said.

Unlike other teenagers in his neighbourhood, delos Santos never ran around playing on the streets and his family and friends are shocked at insinuations by police that he could have been involved in drugs, family members and friends told the Philippine media.

Every day he would man his family’s small convenience store from 5.30am until noon before going off to high school, where teachers and friends said he never once got into trouble, Rappler online news reported.

Saldy delos Santos told reporters that if his son had any spare time he would watch funny videos on YouTube and sing rap songs.

He shared a bed with his three siblings.

A few hours before the killing, Kian’s father, Saldy sent his son a message telling him to sleep early and be careful around the streets.

“You know how it is in our street, it can be dangerous,” the father said in his final advice to his son, Rappler on-line news reported.

True to form, Mr Duterte’s response to the killing spree was to express his wish more people would be killed and to lash out at human rights defenders, telling police to shoot them as well if they get in the way.

Police initially said they would conduct an investigation into delos Santos’ supposed drug dealings.

But as anger grew when it became clear he was executed three police were stood down, pending a wider probe.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who heads an influential bloc of Catholic bishops, said the sound of the bells in his northern Archdiocese “is the voice of God that we hope will wake-up numb and blind consciences. You shall not kill! That is a sin. That is against the law. That is what the bell is saying.”

“The country is a chaos. The officer who kills is rewarded and the slain get the blame…the corpses could no longer defend themselves from accusations that they fought back,” he said.

Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle called for an end to the “waste of human lives.”

“We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets and to stop wasting human lives,” he said.

The comments are the strongest yet from the church which has been one of the few voices denouncing the deaths in the pre-dominantly Catholic country while Mr Duterte has enjoyed widespread popularity.

Now senators have also turned. For 14 months, the majority has strongly supported the president, but now they have made a joint public stand that will embarrass him. Among those backing the statement is Senate president Aquilino Pimentel, who said, “Of course it’s getting alarming, not just because a young man was killed, but because there are people getting killed”.

The inquiry will be conducted by the senate’s committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former national police chief.

But it is unlikely to deter Mr Duterte, a 72-year-old boastful and foul-mouthed former provincial mayor, from a bloody crusade that human rights groups say could amount to a crime against humanity.

When he took office last year he pledged to eradicate all drugs in society in six months.

But in recent speeches he has said he is unlikely to achieve the goal by the time he has to stand down as president in 2022.

Former congressman Walden Bello estimates that by then the death toll could reach 60,000, if the current rate of killing continues.

The toll is already the largest number of civilian deaths in south-east Asia since the Khmer Rouge genocide and Vietnam war in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, human rights groups have expressed outrage at Mr Duterte’s instruction last week to police to “shoot those who are part of (drug activity). If they (members of human rights organisations) are obstructing justice, you shoot them.”

Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said the president’s comments are “like painting a target on the backs of courageous people working to protect the rights and upholding the dignity of all Filipinos.”

“Duterte should retract his reprehensible remarks immediately before there is more blood on his hands,” he said.

With agencies

http://www.smh.com.au/world/this-17-year-old-boy-killed-in-dutertes-drug-war-galvanises-the-philippines-20170821-gy0j41.html

Philippine Police: Let’s not generalize drug war based on Kian’s death — No — Let’s see how many of the other 12,000 are wrongful deaths — “God would punish the one who killed 12,000 dogs this way.”

August 21, 2017
“Let us not generalize the incident involving the minor. Iba po ‘yan sa pang araw-araw na nagaganap,”  Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, Philippine National Police spokesperson, said. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Without using the word “isolated,” Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, Philippine National Police spokesperson, asked the public not to generalize the whole anti-drug campaign based on the death of 17-year-old student Kian Delos Santos last week.

“This is a separate incident. Huwag natin i-generalize na because of one incident, lahat ng police operation will result as same as to Kian,” Carlos said in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Monday.

Carlos said that the death of Delos Santos is included in the 0.2 percent of anti-drug operations that led to deaths of suspects, and sometimes of police personnel.

READ: Bato taps CIDG to investigate Kian’s death

“Let us not generalize the incident involving the minor. Iba po ‘yan sa pang araw-araw na nagaganap,” Carlos said.

He argued that the campaign against illegal drugs has led to a peaceful community where the public feels safe.

“Ngayon ang tanong ‘pag ikaw ba ay lumabas ngayon ikaw ba ay naho-holdap ng adik? ‘pag lumabas ka sa gabi ngayon ikaw ba ay nare-rape ng adik? Ngayon ba sa mga panahon na ito ay nabubugbog ka ng adik?” the spokesperson said.

Carlos boasted about the 1.039 million surrenderees since the war on drugs was launched in July 2016 and the arrest of 90,000 drug suspects “who violated the law” but are alive and in detention.

“Ito po ang totoong resulta,” Carlos said.

The war against drugs had been criticized even before Delos Santos’ death, with human rights advocacy groups claiming between 7,000 to 9,000 had been killed in the drug campaign as of May.

The government has disputed the number and questioned the motives of those who decry the deaths.

READ: Senate majority condemns Kian’s slay, calls for probe

’70 cops killed in operations’

He said that while suspects have been killed due to alleged resistance, the PNP has already also lost 70 policemen and 196 of their personnel have been critically wounded.

Delos Santos’ tragic death at the hands of Caloocan City police have led to public outrage since closed-circuit television camera footage has suggested that he was ruthlessly killed.

His passing come after the spate of killings last week, including the highest number of drug-related deaths recorded in a single day – 32 drug suspects were killed in a “one-time, big-time” operation in Bulacan province.

The Senate, National Bureau of Investigation, Commission on Human Rights and PNP will conduct separate investigations.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/21/1731314/pnp-lets-not-generalize-drug-war-based-kians-death

Related:

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.
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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.”

Image result for Boy Cruz, philippine policeman, photos

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

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (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)

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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
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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
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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: Senate majority signs resolution hitting police drug killings — Is Kian’s casket “Pandora’s Box” for Duterte and Dela Rosa?

August 20, 2017
The grandmother of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, Violeta, cries beside his casket yesterday in Caloocan City. Relatives and concerned neighbors of the teenager slain by police are calling for justice. MICHAEL VARCAS

MANILA, Philippines – Senators from the majority bloc signed last night a resolution condemning “the recent spate of abuses” by the police, including the killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, and moved to conduct an investigation into the incident that sparked outrage nationwide.

Following a three-hour closed-door caucus in Makati, 12 senators, including Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, signed the still unnumbered resolution that is expected to be passed in plenary tomorrow.

The document said the Senate will look into the accountability of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the campaign against illegal drugs “that may have resulted in unnecessary and unjustified deaths and/or killings.”

Apart from Pimentel, among those who signed the resolution were Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

State Sponsored Executions?

Lacson earlie said the Senate investigation into the surge of drug-related police killings would try to find out whether the summary executions were state-sponsored.

Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, issued the statement after over 80 people were killed in different areas of Metro Manila and Bulacan in the past five days reportedly as a consequence of the PNP’s “one-time, big time” anti-drug campaign.

“Why was there another (killing), what we may rightly or wrongly describe as a killing spree? Was there an order? Is there a pattern when the President warns (those involved in illegal drugs) and gives orders to the PNP?” Lacson said over dzBB.

While the Senate committee on justice last year found no evidence of state-sponsored extrajudicial killings, Lacson said the next legislative inquiry could review the panel’s report.

Lacson’s committee is likely to lead the investigation. Several lawmakers, including Senators Sonny Angara and Nancy Binay, pressed for a probe into the drug-related killings, including that of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos by policemen in Caloocan City last week.

Lacson said he heard that some police units were feeling the pressure to rack up “scores” in the anti-drug campaign or they might be sanctioned.

He said President Duterte’s repeated assurance that he will pardon police officers convicted of killing drug pushers may have also prompted some of the summary executions.

Lacson said the committee would be objective and careful in its probe, as the implications of state-sponsored summary executions were a serious issue.

“We will draw the battle lines. The Senate as an institution, if it finds that these are state-sponsored, will we still support the President? That’s why we’ll be thorough and the evidence must be foolproof. Anyway this is still all hypothetical,” he added.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a critic of Duterte, welcomed the inquiry but lamented that some senators as well as supporters of the President were “playing blind.”

“If they were not state-sponsored, why have thousands been killed all over the country since Duterte took over?” Trillanes asked.

He said several whistleblowers earlier testified in the Senate that it was the President’s modus operandi to make it appear the victims fought back when he was still mayor of Davao City.

Sense of the Senate

Pimentel, who called for the caucus last night, said the chamber might pass tomorrow a resolution expressing the “sense of the Senate” on the killings.

He told reporters yesterday that the resolution was “95 percent done.”

On the other hand, Vice President Leni Robredo called for an independent probe into the killing of Delos Santos by the Caloocan City police.

Robredo said an independent investigation must be conducted on the incident, as the barangay security video and accounts from neighbors seemingly contradict the claims of the police.

“What we want is to have an independent investigation to give Kian’s parents closure on what really happened to their son,” she said.

In a separate statement, Robredo’s legal adviser Barry Gutierrez said the Vice President wants an “impartial, non-political body” to conduct the inquiry on Delos Santos’ killing.

“While the Senate is of course free to exercise its mandate to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation anytime, there are advantages to an investigation conducted outside of the glare of the Senate spotlight,” he said.

Lacson and several senators, however, said nothing may come out from an independent body investigating the drug killings.

“Who’s going to appoint the members of the independent commission? The President. The suggestion is sound but the timing is off,” Lacson said.

Trillanes also believed that forming an independent commission was not going to lead to the truth.

“The President will form and fund the independent commission that will issue subpoenas, so he won’t do that because the investigation might lead to his insides,” he said.

Trillanes said the only independent body that could conduct such a probe would be the Senate.

Trillanes,however, reiterated that Sen. Richard Gordon should not lead the inquiry.

Pimentel earlier said there was no clamor in the majority bloc to remove Gordon as chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

Congressmen, for their part, wanted to go after the policemen involved in the killing of Delos Santos and other summary killings.

“We should punish those responsible for what happened to Kian and all the other alleged summary killings if there are, and the victims of accidental shooting or abuse, “ Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles said.

Nograles said it would be unfair to slash the proposed 2018 budget of the Philippine National Police only because there are few rotten eggs in the institution.

“The worst thing that can happen is of course, more of illegal drugs. But that’s not to say we do not give justice to the victims of police abuses,” he said.

Brotherly advice

Lacson, former PNP chief, advised policemen to be more circumspect while pursuing President Duterte’s flagship campaign against illegal drugs.

“They must be discerning. They should not think of their careers under this administration. They should also think of securing the future of their families beyond this administration,” Lacson said.

“They will answer for their misdeeds – if any – committed today in the future,” he said.

“Your career is only until you retire, but your character goes beyond your retirement. It’s there even after death, so that’s more important.”

He said the PNP leadership should not be reckless nor succumb to pressure of producing results in the war on drugs, or be overeager in the campaign.

“It should not be like just anyone will be picked up, killed and planted with a gun or a sachet of shabu, and you say it’s done, we’ve done our job,” Lacson said.

During the 14 months President Duterte has been in power, police have confirmed killing more than 3,500 people – insisting the suspects had resisted arrest or “nanlaban” in police jargon.

More than 2,000 other people have been killed in drug-related crimes and thousands more murdered in unexplained circumstances, according to police that they classified as “deaths under investigation.”

The numbers saw a sudden increase this week, with Duterte praising the police officers that shot dead 32 people in Bulacan as he urged for more.

Following Duterte’s call, at least 44 people were killed in various cities, including Delos Santos whose death sparked a national furor.

The Department of Education (DeEd) condemned the killing of Delos Santos, a Grade 11 pupil of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Valenzuela City.

“The Department denounces all forms of violence against our students, teachers and personnel,” DepEd said.

In a statement, the DepEd said they support the call for an impartial investigation into the killing of Delos Santos by the Caloocan Police.

“We also support President Duterte’s directive to uphold the rule of law, and to put to jail those who will be found responsible for the student’s death,” it said.

On the other hand, a group of overseas Filipino workers has joined the growing call for an immediate stop to the anti-drug war.

Migrante International also expressed support to the family of Delos Santos in their quest for justice. The victim was the son of a Filipino worker in Kuwait.

“The killings must stop. Heads must roll. Kian’s life is blood on Duterte’s hands. All those who committed, operated and tolerated the spate of killings are complicit and should be held accountable by the Filipino people,” Migrante said. – With Helen Flores, Delon Porcalla, Mayen Jaymalin, Rainier Allan Ronda

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/21/1731166/senate-majority-signs-resolution-hitting-police-drug-killings

Philippines: Lawmakers Think About Cutting the Funding to President Duterte’s Police “Drug Personality” Murders

August 20, 2017
By:  – Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ
 / 05:03 PM August 20, 2017
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Karlo Alexei Nograles - Facebook

Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairman of the House of Representatives appropriations committee, expects last week’s brutal sweep of drug suspects to be invoked at the plenary as a basis to cut the budget of the Duterte administration’s antidrug campaign.

But Nograles, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, said it might be argued police abuses should not curtail funding for the administration’s so-called war on drugs.

He said the Philippine National Police (PNP) could argue that abusive personnel could be held responsible for the killings and victims could be given justice without affecting its budget.

“Siyempre, ’yung mga nag-abuso ay mananagot,” Nograles said in a radio interview on Sunday. “But, the abuses ng cops na ito should not hinder the campaign of the government to eradicate drugs in the streets. So, ina-anticipate ko na ganun ang magiging defense.”

(“Of course, the abusive ones would be held accountable. But, the abuses of these cops  should not hinder the campaign of the government to eradicate drugs in the streets. So, I anticipate that would be the defense.”)

Nograles added that reducing the budget to stop the police from committing further abuses would arguably lead to the spread of illegal drugs.

“Kung hindi natin ipursige ’yung anti-drugs campaign ni Presidente, the worst thing that can happen is syempre lumaganap na naman ang iligal na droga sa bansa,” he said.

(“If we don’t pursue the President’s antidrug campaign, the worst thing that can happen is of course, illegal drugs would proliferate in the country again.”)

The issue would have to be fought out above the committee level, because Nograles’s panel had concluded its deliberation on the proposed P170.7-billion budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday. The PNP is an attached agency of the DILG.

The agencies’ budgets would be debated at the plenary floor beginning Sept. 4, Nograles said. /atm

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/924201/war-on-drugs-karlo-alexei-nograles-2018-national-budget-ejks-police-abuses#ixzz4qIkH5ZKL
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Philippines ‘War’ On Illegal Drugs: President Duterte admits he miscalculated — Expect more killings over a longer period of time

August 17, 2017
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows the updated list of those involved in illegal drugs in his speech during the 19th founding anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in Malacañan Palace on August 16, 2017. REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Rody admits mistake in 6-month deadline

MANILA, Philippines – Expect more drug killings throughout the term of President Duterte, who admitted yesterday that he had miscalculated the extent of the drug menace and his capability to stop it.

With his home city of Davao as his template, the President said he had believed he could also eradicate the drug problem nationwide in just six months.

“Alam ko na nagkamali ako. Nagkamali talaga ako. Hindi ko naman talaga akalain, iyang Bureau of Customs na iyan, akala ko kaalyado ko (I know I made a mistake. I really made a mistake. I really never thought that Bureau of Customs, I thought it’s an ally),” he said in remarks before Ozamiz City police officers and men.

“How can I control it in three to six months? The generals and policemen are involved. The Bureau of Customs, an agency I am relying on, son of a b****, is into drugs. How will I succeed?”

Duterte also argued that the drug war has been curtailing the freedoms of citizens.

The President cited the case of the Parojinogs, one of the political clans accused of having ties with drug syndicates. Police killed Ozamiz City mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife and several others on July 30 after they allegedly fought it out with policemen serving search warrants.

“The people here (in Ozamiz) have tasted patronage politics… You will be next. Follow them and you will be next. I will not stop this… I said to the police and the military: destroy the apparatus, the organization of drug syndicates,” the President said.

“Kaya ikaw ‘pag namatay kayo, ma-mayor ka, ma-congressman, gobernador ka, pasensya ka (Now, you die. If you are a mayor, a congressman, a governor, if you get killed, sorry). That is my order,” he added.

“I hope that I can get rid of it before I go out of my office. I hope I will witness it. Dahan-dahanin ko lang ‘yan sila (I will do it slowly).”

He said in jest that those he would spare would be sent on a ship to the South Pole and left to fend for themselves.

Duterte projected himself as a no-nonsense, tough-talking crime buster during the campaign, leading him to win the 2016 presidential race by a landslide.

The longtime Davao City mayor, who vowed to suppress narcotics in six months, got more than 16 million votes, beating his more moneyed rivals, all of whom had previously held national posts.

In September 2016, Duterte sought a six-month extension for his drug crackdown, saying he was shocked by the magnitude of the problem. He later admitted that the drug menace could not be solved easily and that the crackdown would have to continue until the end of his six-year term.

“I said my critics were right. You said, when you become president, you can do it in three to six months. I was not aware of the problem when I assumed office. Davao was just my template. There were drugs there but if you bring drugs there, you will die,” Duterte said.

He also maintained that the Philippines has degenerated into a “narcotic country.”

“Now, you ask, the Philippines, are we or are we not a narcotic country? Yes, we are,” Duterte said.

“I did not know it when I was still mayor… Now that I am President, I told governors and mayors, do not ever f*** with drugs because if you destroy my country, I will kill you. I have been repeating that.”

Thousands have died since Duterte launched his bloody war on drugs but figures released by the government and civil society contradict each other.

Previous reports have placed the death toll at around 9,000 but police officials claimed only about 3,000 drug personalities have been killed in law enforcement operations.

The anti-drugs campaign has drawn flak from human rights groups in the country and abroad but Duterte has refused to listen to his critics, whom he accused of trivializing the drug problem.

“Human rights, wala akong pakialam sa inyo. May trabaho ako at gagawin ko (I do not care about what you say. I have a work to do and I will do it),” the President said.

Duterte said his fight against illegal drugs would not spare anyone, not even his friends.

“Walang kaibi-kaibigan sa akin. Either patayin kita o patayin mo ako. Pareho lang sa akin (Friendships don’t matter to me. Either I kill you or you kill me. It’s the same for me). Just stop playing with drugs,” the President said.

Duterte reiterated that he would protect policemen who would face charges in connection with the drug war, even promising to pardon and promote them in case they get convicted.

“My warning is this: do not lie to me. Just tell me the truth because there is always a remedy. In the performance of duty, you’ll have no problems,” he added.

Duterte also warned policemen engaged in illegal drugs, saying he has offered P2-million bounty each for their arrest.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/18/1730277/6-years-drug-war

Related:

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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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

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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Image may contain: outdoor
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.
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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

Image may contain: 1 person

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.”

Image result for Boy Cruz, philippine policeman, photos

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

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (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)

Image may contain: 2 people, beard

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
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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
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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

Philippine National Police Chief: Deaths in anti-drug ops are “just usual” — “The problem is still there” — “We still need to step up”

August 17, 2017

By Allan Nawal – Correspondent / @inqmindanaoInquirer Mindanao / 04:11 PM August 17, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, text

PNP Chief General Ronald dela Rosa
EDWIN BACASMAS/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

OZAMIZ CITY—Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa said there was nothing unusual in the deaths of some suspects during anti-drug operations because these individuals really put up a fight.

Dela Rosa said what would be unusual if all those being arrested during the so-called “one-time, big-time” operations had been shot dead.

“Magtaka kayo kung patay lahat. Marami namang buhay na nahuli (You should start to wonder if everyone is dead. There were suspects arrested and they are alive),” he said in a speech before members of the city’s police force on Thursday.

Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

Police start to investigate after shooting an apparent drug dealer in Manila. Photograph: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

 

Despite the deaths related to the police anti-drug operations, Dela Rosa said the PNP “still needs to step up.”

“The problem is still there,” he said.

Dela Rosa also urged policemen to just do their job and avoid politics.

“We should not care about politics, we should just maintain order and safety,” he added. JPV

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/923476/pnp-war-on-drugs-pnp-chief-ronald-dela-rosa-government-anti-drug-war-bulacan-raids-mpd-anti-drug-ops#ixzz4q0YDJYM4
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Related:

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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Related:
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

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

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Image may contain: outdoor
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.
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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

Image may contain: 1 person

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.”

Image result for Boy Cruz, philippine policeman, photos

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

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (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)

Image may contain: 2 people, beard

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
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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
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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 war on drugs intensifies, at least 58 killed this week — Duterte tells police to shoot human rights workers “if they get in the way”

August 17, 2017

MANILA (Reuters) – At least 26 people died overnight in police operations in the Philippines capital Manila, authorities said on Thursday, a second night of heavy bloodshed this week in an intensification of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fierce war on drugs and crime.

The killings across Manila followed 32 deaths in near-simultaneous police raids on Monday night in Bulacan province, which borders the capital. Together, they mark the deadliest period of a drugs-focused crackdown that has killed thousands of Filipinos, and caused international alarm, since Duterte took office over a year ago.

Colonel Erwin Margarejo, spokesman for Manila police, described the raids that started late Wednesday in Manila as “one-time, big-time” operations, the same term used by police in Bulacan, who said the victims died because they chose to put up a fight.

“This is ‘one-time, big-time’ operations, so it is not focused only on drugs, we are operating also against other street crimes, like robbery, but these people could also be under the influence of drugs,” Margarejo said.

“If they resisted violently, our police have to defend themselves.”

In this Sept. 5, 2016 photo, police inspect the site where alleged drug user Marcelo Salvador was shot dead by unidentified men in Las Pinas, south of Manila, Philippines. Drug dealers and drug addicts, were being shot by police or slain by unidentified gunmen in mysterious, gangland-style murders that were taking place at night. Salvador became a victim, the casualty of a vicious war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives as part of a campaign by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. AP Photo/Aaron Favila
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Duterte unleashed his crackdown the day he took office on June 30 last year after a convincing win in an election in which he campaigned heavily on a promise to use deadly force to wipe out crime and drugs.

It was not immediately clear what was behind the step-up in the number of coordinated police operations this week, but Duterte gave a clear indication on Wednesday that it had his blessing.

He said it was good that 32 criminals had been killed in Bulacan, then added: “Let’s kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country.”

Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said there had been no instruction to change or increase the scale and scope of the anti-drugs campaign.

“This is just part of our ‘one-time, big-time’ operations against illegal drugs,” he told Reuters.

Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

Police start to investigate after shooting an apparent drug dealer in Manila. Photograph: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

‘GRAVE DANGER’

Duterte also chided human rights groups on Wednesday for getting in the way of his anti-drugs campaign and said police should shoot them if they obstructed justice, a remark the New York-based Human Rights Watch said puts activists “in grave danger”.

Its deputy Asia director, Phelim Kine, described the comments as “like painting a target on the backs of courageous people working to protect the rights and upholding the dignity of all Filipinos.”

The exact number of people killed during the war on drugs is difficult to quantify, with no independent statistics available and police providing comprehensive data only for deaths during anti-drugs operations, where official accounts typically say suspects resisted arrest.

From the start of the drugs war to the end of July, police said over 3,400 people were killed in their operations. Police said about 2,100 deaths among some 13,500 murders over the same period were drugs-related, attributed to turf wars, informants being silenced, or vigilantes killing drug users.

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, crowd and outdoor

Residents near a crime scene where three alleged drug dealers were killed after a raid in Manila. Photograph: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

A total of 65 policemen have been killed on the job during this time.

Critics maintain that members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are executing suspects and say it is likely they have a hand in thousands of unsolved murders of drug users by mysterious vigilantes. The PNP and government reject that.

Although the violence has been criticized by much of the international community, Filipinos largely support the campaign and domestic opposition to it has been muted.

Several Senate hearings into allegations that Duterte operated a death squad when he was a city mayor and was now using the same approach on a national scale have been inconclusive, while an impeachment complaint filed earlier this year was dismissed by Congress.

National police chief Ronald dela Rosa told reporters on Wednesday there would be no let-up in the war on drugs.

“This is unrelenting, we will continue to operate until the end,” he said.

(This version of the story corrects number in headline to 58)

Additional reporting by Dondi Tawatao and Karen Lema; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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Duterte: Shoot CHR personnel if they obstruct justice

MANILA, Philippines (First Published 10:05 p.m.) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said security forces should shoot Commission on Human Rights personnel if they are found to be obstructing justice.

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The president also threatened to have the CHR investigated for conspiracy following its investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of suspected drug suspects and criminals, contradicting an earlier assurance from the Palace that Duterte is aware that independent bodies such as the CHR have roles to perform.

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This statement is the latest in the chief executive’s tirades against the body, which has included a threat to abolish in the past, a remark that he has since dismissed as a “joke.”
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Duterte did not hide his anger at the CHR on Wednesday night.
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“One of these days, kayong human rights, kayong imbestigahan ko. Conspiracy. If they are obstructing justice, you shoot them,” the hot-tempered Duterte said during the anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
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He again returned to his usual refrain against the government body, saying that it is not protecting nor advocating for the rights of crime victims and government personnel.
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“Basta human rights, ilang biktima na rito. Yung lima na namatay, yung one-year-old na ginulgol doon. Yung human rights na yan nasaan? They could not even utter it in public na, ‘Look, do not do that to me.’ Ganito ‘yan e,” he said.
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CHR: We are just doing our constitutional duty

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The CHR on Wednesday night again stressed it is only doing its job when it probes potential rights violations by government personnel.

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“The Commission wishes to reiterate that it is merely doing its constitutional duty and it remains hopeful that the government will recognize that the guarantee of equal protection of the law as well as fair and impartial trial including investigation is a constitutional right available to every single Filipino,” Jacqueline de Guia, CHR spokesperson, said in a statement.
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The Palace recently said that Duterte would not meddle with plans to probe the drug raid in Ozamiz City that led to the death of 15 people, including its former mayor, Reynaldo Parojinog Sr.
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Menardo Guevarra, senior deputy executive secretary, said that as a lawyer, Duterte is aware that the CHR had a mandate to fulfill.
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“He (Duterte) is also a lawyer and he knows that these other agencies have their own mandates, have their own procedures. So they are free to do what they want to do in accordance with their own mandates,” Guevarra said in a press briefing.
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‘Investigate NPA’

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After Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address in July, he also called out the CHR for its alleged failure to investigate crimes committed by non-state actors such as the New People’s Army against the government.

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“Patas tayo. Justice for all. What is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose,” the chief executive said in a media conference after his speech.

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The CHR said that its mandate was to be the watchdog against government abuses and not to implement laws that would stop crime.

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It could also investigate other cases that involve vulnerable sectors, according to De Guia.

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“We do that [investigation] kapag vulnerable sector at tsaka yung IHL (International Humanitarian Law),” she said. The commission has, in the past, condemned the Abu Sayyaf for beheading hostages.

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http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/17/1729880/duterte-shoot-chr-personnel-if-they-obstruct-justice

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