THE Philippine National Police (PNP) maintained on Thursday, November 29, there is no extra-judicial or state-sponsored killings in the country amid the conviction of three cops involved in the killing of Kian delos Santos in August last year.
“Definitely not. Although they are convicted, we cannot say categorically that this is a case of extrajudicial killing (EJK). In fact, there is no EJK in the Philippines. As described or defined in the administrative by the previous administration this is not EJK because it doesn't fall, any anti-drug operation that resulted [in] the death of the drug suspects is not included in that administrative order. So it's a misnomer to say that any death that resulted [in] the death of drug suspects is EJK,” PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr. said.
“It's a simple term being used by some quarters to include the deaths due to drug operations as EJK. There is no EJK in the country,” he added.
Durana was referring to the Administrative Order 35 issued by then President Benigno Aquino III for the creation of an inter-agency committee on extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture and grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security or persons.
Durana also reiterated that there is no such thing as “state-sponsored” killings amid its bloody crackdown on illegal drugs.
“If you say a case or murder or any killing as state sponsored, it is the perpetration based on the state policy, hindi ba. Kapag sinabi mong state-sponsored, it is a result of a state policy. It was never the policy of the PNP as well as the government of killing drug suspects,” he said.
“Definitely, it is not a policy. There was never a policy of the PNP that we kill the drug suspect unless otherwise they put up a fight and the lives of our operating personnel are in danger. So by virtue of self defense they have to defend themselves,” he added.
On Thursday, November 29, a Caloocan court sentenced to life imprisonment Police Officer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, and PO1 Jerwin Cruz after they were found guilty of murdering Delos Santos.
Delos Santos, 17, was killed on August 16, during an anti-illegal drugs operations in Baranggay 160 in Caloocan City.
In a statement, PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said the PNP respects the decision of the court, which he said “is a clear indication that justice system works in this country.”
“This case can serve as a reminder for the rest of our personnel to be extra diligent in fulfilling the requirements of the law as we serve and protect our citizens. But this will not cause us to waiver a bit in our resolve to rid this society of the menace of illegal drugs,” he said.
Durana admitted, however, that there “will be a little setback” for the PNP, but ensured that it will not affect the fulfillment of their duty, which is to serve and protect, as well as the government’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs. (SunStar Philippines)