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Bato on drug war: Full speed ahead

Instead, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa has told police units that it’s full speed ahead for the war against illegal drugs, although he told them to be mindful of procedures. PRINCIELO TUDIO VUELBAN/File

 

Bato on drug war: Full speed ahead

Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -  The Philippine National Police (PNP) is not slowing down in the war on drugs despite criticisms over the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos during an anti-narcotics operation in Caloocan City.

Instead, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa has told police units that it’s full speed ahead for the war against illegal drugs, although he told them to be mindful of procedures.

“I am not ordering you to slow down. I am ordering you to be at full speed. That’s my instruction to my regional directors,” Dela Rosa said. “I want the same intensity. They should not be distracted, but must make sure that they do things properly.”

On Friday night, Western Visayas’ most wanted drug lord and his son were shot dead by law enforcers who raided a house in Jaro, Iloilo.

Richard Prevendido, a resident of Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao district, and his son Jason were killed after clashing with police who were serving an arrest warrant in a house in Phase 4, Landheights Subdivision in Barangay Balabago.

The PNP chief issued the order during their command conference last week attended by the regional directors and heads of the police National Support Units.

Last Aug. 16, Delos Santos was killed during police operations in Caloocan City. Police later claimed the boy was a drug runner and used to sell 10 grams of shabu or P18,000 a day in their area before he was killed.
However, witnesses pointed out Delos Santos was shot in the head even when the boy was already pleading for his life, thus the PNP-Internal Affairs Service and the Senate conducted an investigation into the case.
Even President Duterte, who has been vocal in supporting police officers killing drug pushers who fight it out with authorities or “nanlaban,” ordered an investigation into the incident as he saw CCTV footage showing the boy being dragged by police officers before he was shot dead.

The President said he called Dela Rosa to investigate and jail the police officers.

But Duterte said in a recent speech that the drug war would continue but that he would not tolerate unlawful killings.

 “I’ll be impeached? Correct. I can be impeached. You may shoot me if you want, but I will not change my policy. There will be war against drugs,” Duterte said.

In the same breath, Duterte also said he would not justify what happened to Delos Santos as it was bad and no longer done in the performance of duty.

He also clarified that he would not guarantee protection for abusive policemen.

“I said I will protect those who are doing their duty. I never promised to protect those who are supposedly engaged in doing their duty but committing a crime in the process,” Duterte said.

Reuters quoted a Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center report that Delos Santos was one of 54 minors, aged one to 17, killed in Duterte’s drug war. The CLRDC is a Manila-based advocacy group.

The government said the minors and other innocent victims of the drug war were collateral damage.

But under the #RealNumbersPH Data on Anti-Drug Campaign of the government, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the PNP reported that 465 minors were rescued from July 1, 2016 to Aug. 16, 2017 in the course of the drug war under the Duterte administration.

The same reports showed that a total of 3,577 people were killed and 101,061 drug personalities were arrested in 68,975 police operations during the same period.
The government also seized 2,465.80 kilos of shabu with street value of P18.65 billion and P18.56 billion worth of shabu paraphernalia.

Authorities reported that a total of 363 government officials and employees were arrested, including 162 elected officials, 171 government employees and 30 uniformed personnel. The arrested suspects have been charged before the courts.

At the same time, 68 policemen and law enforcers were killed and 184 others were wounded in the illegal drug raids.

The same reports showed that there were 1,308,078 surrenderees from July 1, 2016 to Aug. 16, 2017, indicating no new surrenderees for about two months or since June 20.

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