PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday described as “stereotyping” the latest Amnesty International report which claimed that the police’s bloody war on drugs has been based on a single script in order to justify the killings.
“Well, palagi naman nilang sinasabi ‘yun. I think that is stereotype already,” Albayalde said in reaction to AI’s report that members of the PNP are trying to justify the deaths of over 6,600 suspected drug offenders since July 1, 2016 by saying that the suspects fought back.
The London-based group likewise claimed that the province of Bulacan has become the bloodiest “killing field” in the country since President Duterte ordered the war on drugs in 2016 noting the increase in the number of killings in the area.
“These are all allegations that were never proven. At saka tuloy-tuloy ba? Ngayon nga walang report sa Bulacan eh and it’s not only probably Bulacan. Remember ‘yung campaign natin against illegal drugs is nationwide. Pinromise natin sa Pilipino na we will not relax, we will not relent dahil ‘yan ang pinangako ng Pangulo,” said the PNP chief.
Gen. Albayalde maintained that police across the country are enforcing the President’s order “within the bounds of law,” meaning in accordance with the strict Police Operational Procedures and in compliance with international human rights law.
PNP spokesman Colonel Bernard M. Banac said that from Day 1 of the Duterte presidency the government has declared war on the drug syndicates and all those involved in the illegal drug trade.
“Those who have taken to a life of crime must be subject to our laws. While those on the side of the law must observe rigid rules of engagement,” he said.
From July 1, 2016 to date, more than 6,600 armed drug offenders have been killed in shootouts with the police which also arrested 240,000 other drug personalities and cleared over 11,000 barangays of illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
Officials said that the country’s total crime volume went down to 38,000 last May compared to the 42,500 registered during the same month in 2018 with police attributing the significant crime reduction to the massive war on drugs ordered by President Duterte since July 201.
“However, despite this, we assure the public that the PNP remains committed to perform its mandate to enforce the law, dismantle drug syndicates, and assist the rehabilitation of drug users with transparency, and utmost respect for human rights,” the official said.