HUMAN rights watchdog Amnesty International's (AI) report on alleged “massive human rights violations” committed particularly by the police in relation to the government’s war on drugs is “unfair,” Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa lamented Friday, February 23.
In its annual report entitled “The State of the World’s Human Rights,” AI said the government, particularly President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies, are targeting only the human rights defenders.
It also said the administration has yet to conduct a “meaningful investigation“ into the killings of drug suspects, especially in the cases where policemen are involved.
"Meaningful investigations into killings of alleged drugs offenders failed to take place; no police officers were known to have been held to account. Relatives of victims continued to be fearful of reprisals if they filed complaints against police," the report said.
The AI also cited the killing of teenagers in Caloocan City in August 2017. Kian Loyd delos Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz appeared to have been extrajudicially executed based on the accounts of the witnesses.
Dela Rosa refused to accept the AI’s report. He said investigations against the police officers involved particularly in the killing of drug suspects are ongoing.
“Unfair naman yan kung totoo yang sinabi nila na ganun. Meron naman tayong imbestigasyon. In fact merong nga tayong mga naresolba na mga kaso (What they are saying is unfair. We are investigating the cases. In fact, some cases have been resolved),” he said.
“Wala daw makabuluhan na investigation e ano nangyari doon sa mga pulis natin na nakakulong, pinagkakakasuhan at pinagdi-dismiss natin, ano ba yun? (They are saying that no meaningful investigation has been conducted. What do you call the cases where the policemen involved are charged, detained and dismissed?)" he added.
Earlier, Dela Rosa said 352 police personnel have been removed from the service since he took office on July 2016.
Of this, 167 were sacked due to illegal drugs involvement, including the 146 who tested positive for illegal drugs use while the others were due to various offenses including human rights violations.
He noted that the police officers involved in the killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos are already behind bars, facing charges of murder and torture.
Dela Rosa, however, admitted that investigation is proceeding at a slow pace. But he said this is because they do not want to make any mistake.
“As I have said, hindi namin pwedeng mamadaliin (ang investigation), nagmamadali na isakripisyo ‘yung investigation at basta na lang merong masabi na natapos ‘yung investigation madaliin natin at ano, gagawa gawa tayo ng resulta sa investigation. Hindi naman pwede na ganun,” he said.
“Bakit natin pressure sarili natin para lang masabi na natapos na ang investigation tapos wala naman, ang resulta hindi satisfactory mas maigi na matagal na sigurado,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)