PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte would have “zero tolerance” for rogue members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who are using the campaign against illegal drugs for their personal agenda, his spokesperson said Wednesday.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the suspension of anti-drug operations would end the illicit activities performed by some police officials.
“Reforms in PNP will rid the force of rogue cops. In line with this, he (Duterte) has directed the abolition of all anti-illegal drug units in the PNP for its zero tolerance policy against corruption within the organization,” Abella said.
Abella’s statement came after the Amnesty International (AI) accused the PNP of “killing and paying” individuals to kill thousands of suspected drug personalities.
In its report published on Tuesday, the AI said the police may have committed crimes against humanity, noting that the Philippine streets “are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his (Duterte’s) own police.”
“Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift,” said AI’s crisis response director Tirana Hassan.
“This is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder.”
Abella, however, maintained that the extrajudicial drug-related deaths in the country are not “state-sanctioned.”
He also cited that even the Senate committees on justice and public order and dangerous drugs backed the Duterte administration as it found in its report that “there is no state-sponsored policy of extrajudicial deaths.” (SunStar Philippines)