Posts Tagged ‘PNP’

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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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
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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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Philippines open to address US human rights concerns

August 4, 2017

 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, to brief the Senate Foreign Relations Committee behind closed-doors regarding the administration’s perspective on the authorizations for the use of military force. AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government welcomed the visit of the United States’ top diplomat to attend ASEAN-related meetings in the country.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to raise human rights issues in the Philippines amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against the illegal drug trade.

The Department of Foreign Affairs noted that it is part of Tillerson’s duty as a government official to discuss human rights not only in the Philippines but the rest of the world.

“They are accountable to their Congress and their press as they advance their values and interests. We share the belief that no country has a perfect human rights situation,” the DFA said in a statement released Friday.

The Philippine government, however, is keen on correcting Washington’s perception of Duterte’s war on drugs, based on what they claimed as “exaggerated” reports.

“We welcome the opportunity to address their concerns and correct the perceptions they may have gleaned from exaggerated media reports,” the statement read.

The US government had been expressing concern on reports of extrajudicial killings by government authorities in the Philippines.

In November last year, Washington decided to refocus its assistance to Manila from law enforcement to maritime security.

READ: US moves aid away from Duterte’s drug war

The DFA stressed that discussions on issues of human rights are always included in the country’s engagement with foreign governments, particularly Western nations, given that the Philippines is the oldest democracy in Asia.

Aside from human rights issues, Tillerson will discuss relevant matters of shared interest including the Marawi conflict, terrorism and increasing Philippine-US economic and people-to-people engagement at the sidelines of the ASEAN-related meetings.

“These discussions are all aimed at strengthening the old friendship between the two countries,” the DFA said.

The US Department of State is looking forward to Tillerson’s meeting with Philippine officials, which is still being arranged.

“We’re still working out the last details of the schedule of that bilateral meeting, so I can’t tell you exactly what the meeting schedule is, but we will certainly get those details out as soon as we have them,” acting US Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton said in Washington on Wednesday.

RELATED: Tillerson to raise US human rights concerns in Philippines

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/04/1724980/philippines-open-address-us-human-rights-concerns

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Philippines: Mayor, Others Killed in Pre-Dawn Police Raid Tested Positive for Gunpowder Burns

August 3, 2017
By:  – Reporter / @FMangosingINQ
 / 03:42 PM August 03, 2017

The late Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. (Photo from his Facebook account)

Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. tested positive for paraffin tests, Philippine National Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said on Thursday.

“Positive for paraffin test or gunpowder nitrates si Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog at iba pa ho nilang kasama….Si Mayor meron po siyang two gunshot wounds sa chest at face,” he said in a press briefing

Based on the report forwarded by Crime Laboratory Region 10, seven others tested positive for gunpowder nitrate.

The predawn police raid last Sunday killed Parojinog and 14 others, including some members of his family.

Police said that while serving the warrant, they were met with gunfire as they were about to enter the Parojinogs’ houses.

“It will help determine kung firearms were used or a firearm was nearby the body and again hindi siya conclusive but it helps in the investigation,” Carlos said when asked on the importance of paraffin tests.

“It will show us the firearms that were recovered in the premises were used. There was a gunbattle, there was an exchange of gunfire and will reinforce na meron nagpalitan ng putok kasi nandun po sa loob ng premises yung mga katawan na nag positive sa gunpowder burns,” he also said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier tagged the Parojinogs as part of the narcopoliticians in Mindanao. JE

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/920092/pnp-ozamiz-mayor-parojinog-7-others-test-positive-for-powder-burns#ixzz4ogw30XOO
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Tillerson to Raise US Human Rights Concerns in Philippines — Human rights advocates have accused Duterte of unleashing “a human rights calamity”

August 3, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The United States’ top diplomat is expected to raise concerns about human rights in the Philippines during a possible meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte when he visits Manila this week for Asia’s biggest security forum.

Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will raise all relevant issues in the U.S. alliance with the Philippines, including concerns about human rights. She said a meeting with Duterte is being arranged.

Human rights advocates have accused Duterte of unleashing “a human rights calamity” with his war on illegal drugs, which has left thousands of suspects dead.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Robiespierre Bolivar said the Philippines is open to discussing its human rights record.

In Philippines, Doubts About Police Raid That Killed a Mayor

August 2, 2017

MANILA — Critics of the Philippine government are raising doubts about a weekend police operation that left 15 people dead, including a mayor accused of drug trafficking by President Rodrigo Duterte, suggesting that the bloodshed was a summary execution disguised as legitimate law enforcement.

But the police have shrugged off such criticism, saying they will continue to pursue scores of other officials Mr. Duterte has publicly identified as “narco politicians.”

Reynaldo Parojinog, the mayor of the city of Ozamiz in the southern Philippines, was killed at his home early Sunday along with his wife and five other people. The police said that Mr. Parojinog’s guards opened fire on them as they tried to enforce a search warrant, and that the seven people were killed in the ensuing firefight.

A raid at another house owned by the Parojinog family left eight others dead, according to an updated report from the police, who originally said five people had been killed there. Several people were arrested, including the mayor’s daughter, Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez, the deputy mayor of Ozamiz, who was brought to Manila under heavy guard. She was charged with drug possession and illegal possession of firearms.

Senator Antonio Trillanes, a critic of Mr. Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, which has left thousands dead at the hands of the police or vigilantes, on Tuesday described the killings as a “rub-out.”

“It is yet another proof of how Duterte’s policy flouts human rights, due process and the rule of law and further reinforces the cases of crimes against humanity filed against him,” said Mr. Trillanes, who was involved in filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague accusing Mr. Duterte of masterminding extrajudicial killings.

“As Duterte and his police chief have forewarned, more people will die in pursuit of their drug war,” Mr. Trillanes said.

Mr. Parojinog and his daughter were among roughly 150 Philippine officials, including mayors, judges and police officers, whom Mr. Duterte accused last year of being involved in illegal narcotics, reading their names from a list on live television.

The president encouraged officials on the list to report to the national police headquarters in Manila to clear their names if they considered themselves innocent. Mr. Parojinog and his daughter did so, telling reporters at the time that their political enemies may have generated the accusations against them. The mayor said his family had actively fought crime in Ozamiz, including drug trafficking.

But the family has never denied having links to the Kuratong Baleleng organization, which began as an armed militia unit formed by the military in the late 1980s to help combat communist guerrillas, and later evolved into a criminal organization. It has been dominant in Ozamiz politics for years.

As of Tuesday, Mr. Duterte had not commented on the raids Sunday. But officials in his government have distanced him from the operation, saying it was carried out independently by the police.

Photo

Rolando Espinosa Sr., left, with the national police chief, Gen. Ronald dela Rosa, after turning himself in to the authorities last year. Mr. Espinosa was later killed inside his jail cell, which the police said they had raided on suspicion that he was continuing to direct drug operations from there. Credit Mark R. Cristino/European Pressphoto Agency

On Monday, Gen. Ronald dela Rosa, the chief of the Philippine National Police, appeared undaunted by questions that were beginning to emerge about the killings, saying that the police would aggressively pursue other officials on Mr. Duterte’s list. “We have begun a case buildup against them,” he said in brief remarks to reporters. “Once there is a case already, we will operate.”

It is not clear how Mr. Duterte’s list was compiled; officials in his government have said that the president has his own sources. General dela Rosa said Monday that if officials were put on the list in error, they had nothing to fear, but that if they were confirmed to be involved in drugs, “then they can prepare themselves.”

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

Philippines; Government Human Rights Watchdog Says Philippine National Police Must Follow Existing Law and Rules of Engagement Covering Arrest and Search Warrants

August 1, 2017
Images released by the PNP show mugshots of Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog- Echavez (left) and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. taken during booking procedures at Camp Crame last Tuesday.

MANILA, Philippines – An official of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday reminded the Philippine National Police (PNP) to comply with the existing rules of engagement covering arrest and search warrants.

“There are set procedures on how to legally and validly serve warrants of arrest or search warrants,” CHR commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana said when asked about the statement of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa that there will be more to come after the deadly raid in Ozamiz City that killed the mayor and 14 others last Sunday.

Gana, who heads the CHR task force on extrajudicial killings, said they would also look at the raid that resulted in the death of Ozamiz City mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., his wife Susan, two siblings and 11 others.

“We are still awaiting the report of the police on how the operation was done,” the CHR official said.

“The CHR is mandated to look into how the ‘duty bearer’ – the police in this case – did their job, that is whether the operation was done legitimately and whether due process was observed,” she added.

CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia earlier said the commission has already started its investigation on the incident.

“No conclusions yet at this time, but the purpose of the investigation is to determine if protocols were followed in the implementation of the search warrant and use of deadly force,” added De Guia.

Several lawmakers, including Liberal Party president and Sen. Francis Pangilinan, expressed doubt that due process was followed in the raid.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said it would not meddle in the investigation of the CHR.

President Duterte earlier tagged Parojinog and his daughter, arrested Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez, as among the narco-politicians in the country. The Parojinogs denied the allegation.

Human rights advocates have assailed the credibility of the police account of the recent killing of the mayor of Ozamiz.

Human Rights Watch said even Pangilinan questioned why the raid occurred at 2:30 a.m. and why police “paralyzed” close circuit television cameras in and around the Parojinog residence, which could have provided visual evidence of how the operation unfolded.

On the other hand, Parojinog’s daughter Nova accused the policemen of planting drugs at the scene.

Phelim Kine, deputy director of Human Rights Watch-Asia Division, said that police killings of two other city mayors implicated in drug trafficking have also raised questions about police methods and accountability.

In October 2016, police killed mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao in a similar shootout.

On Nov. 5, 2016, police shot dead Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte in what police described as a firefight in his cell after he brandished a concealed pistol. Espinosa had surrendered to the police following public accusations by Duterte that he was a drug trafficker.

Both the National Bureau of Investigation and the Senate concluded the police officers had committed “premeditated murder” in the Espinosa case.

Despite that ruling, earlier this month, the 18 officers implicated in Espinosa’s death returned to work.

United Nations human rights experts urged the government to immediately act on the increasing reports of human rights violations, including murder, threats against indigenous peoples and the summary execution of children.

“Attacks are spiraling against many groups in society and we are making an urgent appeal for government action,” said a joint statement issued by Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children.

The experts highlighted numerous killings and extrajudicial executions of villagers, farmers and human rights defenders seeking to protect the ancestral land of lumad indigenous peoples against businesses.

Noy wants Ozamiz probe

Former president Benigno Aquino III expressed belief the killings in Ozamiz City must be investigated because of the number of casualties during the series of raids.

He also called on authorities to determine whether the current strategy being employed in the drug war could really be effective, since the surveys would show the same number of drug users in the country from the time he stepped down until now – which was 1.8 million to 1.3 million.

Aquino told reporters after the mass held for the 8th death anniversary of his mother Corazon, also a former president and democracy icon at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, that it did not seem feasible to gun down all of those in the houses of the Parojinogs without the raiding team getting hit, since there were only 16 of them while the number of those killed was 15.

He said there could be different treatments for a problem but the question at the end of the day should be: “Has anything changed? There should be a change.”

Aquino said during his time, they tried their best to follow the processes of case build up, gathering of evidence and prosecution of suspects.

He said no matter how successful an operation was, there should be a review of what could be improved, especially when people got killed.

Aquino also stressed they did try their best to curb illegal drugs during his time, along with the many other problems they had to deal with.  – With Aurea Calica, Rhodina Villanueva, Pia Lee-Brago

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/02/1723757/chr-pnp-must-follow-search-arrest-rules

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