PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. maintained on Monday, February 12, 2024, that the national police agency does not condone extrajudicial killings amid claims of continued bloody drug war under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
In a press conference, Acorda admitted that there were anti-illegal drug operations that resulted in the killing of target personalities but he maintained that the death of some was not intentional.
“Yours truly being the chief PNP and, of course, as I impress upon all our unit commanders on the ground, we don’t do any extrajudicial killings and it is not our part of doctrine,” said Acorda.
“In fact, if you can see in our five-focus agenda, while we wanted that there will be aggressive operation, we want it done honestly. When we want it done honestly, it goes within also about the respect for human rights,” he added.
Acorda made the statement following the release of data under University of the Philippines Diliman’s “Project Dahas,” which showed that 28 individuals were killed in anti-illegal drug operations in January 2024.
It said 14 of which were killed by unidentified assailants while nine were killed by policemen.
Acorda admitted that there were drug-related killings during police anti-illegal drug operations.
“Really, there are such incidents and as of now, to our appreciation, these operations that resulted to some deaths is kumbaga the use of necessary force doctrine was adopted. Meaning, even though it’s not our wish talaga na may mamatay but because in the act of self-defense and other circumstances, such death resulted to these kinds of operation,” he said.
“Again, we don’t condone extrajudicial killings and these allegations of Dahas, we welcome them. If they have some facts or circumstances and witnesses that will say otherwise to what was reported to our units on the ground, we welcome them because again as I have said, we want our operations to be aggressive but we want it done honestly and we respect what we call rights of every individual na hinuhuli,” he added.
Project Dahas said 331 individuals were also killed amid the campaign against illegal drugs from January to December 2023.
From January 1 to February 8, a total of P456 million worth of illegal drugs were seized during police anti-illegal drug operations, which also resulted in the arrest of 5,972 drug personalities.
Meanwhile, Acorda noted the 27.63 percent drop in the country’s crime rate or from 4,485 crime incidents in January to February 10, 2023 down to 3,246 for the same period this year.
Marcos' intensified anti-illegal drug campaign focuses on the rehabilitation, reintegration, and preventive education programs specifically for the youth. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)