THE way Mayor Isko Moreno’s campaign against illegal drugs in Manila is being actively waged by members of the Manila Police District (MPD) is one proof that the accusations of so-called ‘extra-judicial killings (EJKs)’ being constantly thrown at the war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte are simply baseless and untrue.
Thus stressed Manila Secretary to the Mayor Bernie Ang, as he particularly cited the most recent apprehension of 35 drug suspects, mostly in Baseco, who were all caught alive and subsequently presented during a press conference in City Hall.
Before this, several other drug suspects were also arrested in separate places in Manila and similarly presented to the media.
On all these various occasions, Ang said Mayor ‘Kois’ would consistently underscore that the said suspects were nabbed alive and that their human rights are being respected in the process of the entire drug operations as in fact, they are even allowed to cover their faces during press conferences.
‘These pronouncements and actions of Mayor Moreno are meant to make it known to the critics of the Duterte administration that their accusations of EJKs are unfounded and apparently only meant to malign President Rodrigo Duterte,’ Ang stressed.
Indeed, from the very start of his term as city mayor and even during his first command conference with MPD officials headed by District Director Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr., Moreno has consistently stated that his administration will be fully supporting President Duterte’s war on drugs and all other pronouncements being made by the President which are deemed as government policy.
Time and again too, Moreno has also constantly defended the government’s war on drugs and even told the police that while they are duty-bound to exercise human rights at a maximum level, they should also protect themselves fully, specially in cases where the drug suspects choose to shoot it out than get arrested.
‘Self-preservation is and must always be the priority of the police. Ayoko sa lahat ‘yung may mga pulis tayong masasawi laluna sa kamay ng mga drug suspects o pushers na ayaw sumunod sa batas,’ Moreno has constantly stated.
During his most recent press conference, Mayor Kois gave emphasis on the fact that all the 35 drug suspects he was presenting right there and then were all alive and kicking.
This, to me, is clearly a direct attack on those who tirelessly mount all sorts of black propaganda against President Duterte and who make it appear that most or all operations against illegal drugs are attended by EJK.
In defending the police with regard to drug operations that result in the death of suspects, Moreno said that if the suspects have human rights, so do the police.
‘Nung araw sa Tondo, ‘pag ang tolongges o kriminal dun nakakapatay ng pulis, nagkakabalbon sa dibdib. Ikinukwento pa sa kapitbahay kasi gusto sumikat. Kaya pinagbibilinan ko din ang mga miyembro ng pulisya na ingatan ang kanilang kaligtasan kasi, meron din silang karapatan,’ he said.
‘Ang karapatan ng suspect at ng enforcement unit, pareho lang ‘yan,’ the mayor stressed during his press con.
Although he does not want them in the city, Mayor Kois said the suspects may prove their innocence before the courts. In the same breadth, however, he likewise stressed that policemen, just like the rest of us, also have human rights and the right to live.
Moreno has high praises for MPD Director Danao and his men for a job well done. It’s a well-deserved commendation for the hard-working group of Danao and all members of the MPD. Truly, they are ‘Manila’s Finest.’
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