By Darwin Pesco/Manila Times/Bocaue
The Philippine National Police (PNP) does not violate human rights in the government’s war on drugs, PNP Officer in Charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa said yesterday.
“We do not admit that there have been violations of human rights in our police operations,” Gamboa told reporters in a chance interview.
Since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2106, he said no violations had been committed by policemen.
“It (allegation) has always been thrown at us, but we categorically say no, there were no violations,” Gamboa added.
He said policemen accused of violating human rights are being investigated.
“As a matter of fact, we have investigated all our operations to find out whether our policemen had violated police operational procedures,” said Gamboa.
Meanwhile, he noted that the PNP would not be affected by the United States’ ban on Filipino public officials, as there were reports that some police officials were covered by the ban.
Gamboa added that he would leave the matter with the president or ”higher authorities in the executive.” Such ban on some of police officials could affect the PNP as a whole, he said, “especially now with our ongoing campaign against illegal drugs.”
Gamboa added that internal cleansing in the police organisation would continue next year.
By April or May next year, the PNP would use 3,000 body cameras in its anti-drug operations.
“We bought these cameras primarily because of transparency so that there would be no more doubts on the legality of our police operations,” he added.
Gamboa said policemen would kill a drug suspect if there was a threat against them in a drug operation.
“We will give you the maximum force of the law,” he added.
According to the latest survey of Social Weather Stations, 29% of adult Filipinos believe that the police were not telling the truth on their claim that they only kill drug suspects for resisting arrest.
Gamboa said this public perception was “stereo (typical).”
Based on recent PNP data, 6,600 drug suspects were killed in anti-illegal drug operations with a total of 256, 227 arrested from 2016 to 2019.
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