DAVAO CITY – A high-ranking police official said they will be investigating drug-related killings as the authorities vowed not to tolerate vigilantism.
“It’s so easy to kill right now, kill your enemy and just put a placard saying ‘pusher ako’,” Chief Supt. Camilo Cascolan, head of the Philippine National Police Directorate for Operations said in a press conference here on Wednesday, July 13.
“That is why [I said] that we should have documentations on all of our police operations. We will never tolerate vigilantism,” Cascolan said.
Cascolan said that these killings are all be investigated “if they are really drug related.”
As of 5:00 pm Tuesday, July 12, the PNP already recorded 2,157 pushers that surrendered, 1,657 arrested drug pushers, and 127 killed during police operations.
The police chief said that those killed with placed placards “are not part of police operations whatever, it is vigilantism.”
In a Human Rights Watch Dispatch dated July 12, the group urged for a “credible and independent inquiry” to the alarming increase of police killings.
HRW also said to make the findings of the inquiry to the public.
It said the spike of killings of drug suspects “places an extra burden on the administration to ensure police act within the law.”
“The government, starting with Duterte, should loudly make clear that the police need to respect the rights and protections of all criminal suspects all the time,” the HRW said.
In a separate statement, the National Union of People’s Lawyers said that “the madness must stop.”
“Quick fix savagery and abuse of power by law enforcers supposedly to quell criminality and drugs, which, wittingly or unwittingly, directly or indirectly, are encouraged, condoned or sanctioned, is a frankenstein that will haunt us all over time,” said Atty. Edre Olalia, secretary general of NUPL.
Cascolan agreed with the two groups and said, “that’s true,that’s one of the things they are saying maybe about those who are killed.”
“We will do our best to investigate it,” Cascolan said. “[We] solve the problem and the issue at the same time,” he said.
He said all drug-related police operations need to be documented, from planning to filing of case, to rehabilitation, and monitoring in the prison.
The results of the investigation, according to Cascolan, will be handled by the Investigation Detection Management of the PNP. (davaotoday.com)