Human Rights Watch said that Ronald dela Rosa, who is set to end his nearly two-year stint as PNP chief on April 19, should answer for the deaths related to the government’s drug war.
The STAR/Michael Vargas
Bato should answer for drug war deaths — HRW
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - April 18, 2018 - 9:55am

MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa should be held accountable for the bloody anti-drugs campaign that he led as the country’s top cop, a rights watchdog said.

Human Rights Watch said that Dela Rosa, who is set to end his nearly two-year stint as PNP chief on April 19, should answer for the deaths related to the government’s drug war.

“When Ronald dela Rosa retires on Thursday as director general of the PNP, he will leave behind a police force with a sordid human rights record unmatched since the Marcos dictatorship,” HRW Asia Division researcher Carlos Conde said on Wednesday.

Conde called Dela Rosa an “enthusiastic supporter” of the anti-drug campaign that President Rodrigo Duterte launched in 2016, citing his rejection of calls about the spate of killings linked with police operations.

“He slammed calls by lawmakers for an investigation into the killings as ‘legal harassment,’ saying it ‘dampens the morale’ of police officers,” Conde said.

The police force has been heavily criticized for being on the forefront of the bloody campaign against illegal narcotics. The agency was at the center of public outrage after the deaths of three teenagers at the hands of cops.

The war on drugs has resulted in the deaths of a little over 4,000 drug suspects, according to the government. But critics and rights groups have higher estimates.

The International Criminal Court has initiated a preliminary examination into the allegations of crimes against humanity committed by Duterte in his drug war.

The initial inquiry stemmed from the communication filed by lawyer Jude Sabio, which said that 11 other government officials such as Dela Rosa, should be held liable along with the chief executive.

“These developments suggest that sooner or later, dela Rosa may be held to account for the bloody campaign he so zealously endorsed,” Conde said.

After his retirement in the police service, Dela Rosa will soon head the Bureau of Corrections.

READBato cites killing of Jee Ick-joo, drug war probes as lowest points in his stint as PNP chief

RONALD DELA ROSA
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