THE Philippine National Police leadership has maintained anew that protection of human rights remains their premium policy with officers under strict orders to follow the Police Operational Procedures as they aggressively continue their war on drugs and go after armed shabu traffickers this year.
PNP spokesman Colonel Bernard M. Banac assured that police always adhere to the rule of law, respect human rights and value life. “Just like any organization, we are not perfect. But this has not deterred us from intensifying internal cleansing to maintain discipline among our personnel and weed out from our ranks rogues, misfits and scalawags,” he stressed.
Banac also said that they fully respect the Commission on Human Rights’ stand on the Rodriguez, Rizal anti-narcotics operation last June 29 which left four persons including a policeman and a 3-year old girl dead.
“The PNP respects the statement of the CHR. Indeed, a full dress investigation is in order to determine the circumstances surrounding that fateful encounter that claimed four human lives,” he said after the CHR through its spokesperson Jacquline de Guia condemned the death of young girl Myka Ulpina during the buy-bust operation which turned awry.
From day one of this national campaign against illegal drugs, the government has declared war versus the drug syndicates and all those involved in the illegal drug trade. “Those who have taken a life of crime must be subject to our laws. While those on the side of the law must observe rigid rules of engagement,” said Banac.
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 known 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 launched by President Duterte since July 2016.
“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.
The PNP spokesperson earlier reacted to an Ateneo School study which claimed there have been “vague or absent shortcuts” that compromise the rights to privacy and due process of drug personalities.
The PNP spokesman assured that police are always under orders to adhere to the rule of law, obey prescribed standard operating procedures and respect human rights during all law enforcement operations.