PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan yesterday assured the public including PNP critics anew that there is no such thing as ‘extra-judicial killings’ in the country since the Duterte government is not sponsoring it.
“First, if you have that notion, come to me, we will investigate. Number two, there’s no such thing as EJK. Wala naman ‘yan eh. Everything, the people, the PNP has fought hard to really reduce illegal drugs and it’s a survival for our people,” said the member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986.
Cascolan issued the challenge to individuals or groups claiming that state forces are behind the so-called EJKs since former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency in July 2016 and ordered a massive war on drugs.
He said those who have information on alleged EJKs must go to authorities so that their reports could be investigated and cases could be filed against suspects.
“There’s no such truth when it comes to EJK because EJK sabi ko nga state-sponsored, will the President sponsor state killing? No. Will other people in the government do that? I don’t believe so,” he added.
Since the start of the Duterte administration up to date, a total of 5,810 known drugs personalities across the country have died in anti-drug operations, majority of them shot dead in gunbattles with undercover officers.
The latest RealNumbersPH report said that from July 1, 2016 to last July 1, 2020, government agents led by the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency headed by Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva have conducted 173,348 anti-illegal drug operations which led to the arrest of 251,889 suspects and the killing of 5,810 armed drug offenders following shootouts with undercover agents.
The period also saw the arrest and detention of 9,706 ‘high-value targets’ including 833 government workers who are all facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The government workers arrested include 401 government employees, 336 elected public officials and 96 uniformed personnel.
The same period also saw the rescue of 3,254 children involved in illegal drug activities following the conduct of anti-drug operations. Of the number, 1,817 are known young drug dealers; 385 are drug users; 161 were visitors of raided drug dens; eight were marijuana cultivators; eight were drug dive maintainers; 11 were drug den employees; one a drug runner; one a secret drug laboratory worker; while 868 were apprehended for possession of prohibited drugs.
To date, PNP and PDEA operatives have already dismantled 581 secret drug dens and 16 clandestine shabu laboratories and storage facilities; and seized P52.77 billion worth of dangerous drugs, P43.20 billion of which are shabu.
Cascolan is known as the ‘architect’ of the PNP Oplan Double Barrel when he was still the PNP Director for Operations during the start of the term of former PNP chief, now Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa.
The 24th PNP chief has ordered a stepped-up drive versus corruption, drugs specifically ‘higj-value targets’ and rogues in uniform.
Cascolan said he also wants his men to ‘follow the rule of law’ in everything they do and focus on their internal cleansing program.
The PNP chief said that since he assumed his position, PNP agents across the country have conducted 632 anti-narcotics operations which led to the arrest of 859 known drug personalities and the killing of nine armed suspects in shootouts which marred the conduct of buy-bust operations.
Two Saturdays ago, operatives of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) arrested three ‘high-value individuals’ during a buy-bust operation in Mabalacat City in Pampanga which led to the seizure of 2.5 kilos of shabu worth P17 million.
PNP-DEG director, Brigadier Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. identified the arrested suspects as Welson Sy Tan, Annabelle San Jose and Mary Joy Perfecto.
Caramat said the trio were arrested after they conspired to sell the huge volume of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ to an undercover officer of the PNP-DEG at the parking area of a Jollibee hamburger joint at Clark Center in Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
Caramat said the three are facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The Pampanga operation was the first major drug bust scored by the PNP-DEG under Cascolan who has ordered his men to account for more ‘high-value targets’ or the so-called ‘big fishes’ in the country’s illegal drug industry.
The challenge was made by the 24th PNP chief to his men led by the PNP-DEG whose men since November last year have already accounted for nearly P13 billion worth of shabu and several ‘HVTs’ as well as the different Drug Enforcement Units of the police regional, provincial, regional, city and municipal police stations.