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I: SENATE HEARING ON KILLINGS

TWO WITNESSES TESTIFY ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS
[RELATED: PNP Chief Bato relieves Antipolo cops tagged in drug trade]


AUGUST 22 -Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights chair Leila de Lima (top left) fields questions to security and human rights officials present during the Senate inquiry on the recent rise in extrajudicial killings and summary killings involving suspected criminals on Monday, August 22, 2016. Senate PRIB / Cesar Tomambo 
Two relatives of suspected drug pushers who were killed in police operations appeared at the Senate Monday to testify during the inquiry into extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration’s war on illicit drugs. After law enforcers delivered their introductions, the witnesses, who were wearing hoodies, scarves and sunglasses to protect their identities, recounted how Philippine National Police officers “abused” their relatives even though they were only accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade. The first witness, Harra Bertes introduced as “Harra Kazuo”, 26, was the pregnant wife of suspected drug dealer JP Bertes, and daughter-in-law of Renato Bertes. JP and Renato Bertes were killed by Pasay City cops last July 7. Harra Bertes admitted that her husband used to sell shabu in 2015 and that cops demanded some P10,000 in exchange for their silence. She said JP was already trying to quit drug dealing and was planning to surrender to the authorities when he was killed. She recalled how three Pasay police officers, who she did not name, raided their house, demanded the surrender of drugs she said she did not have at that time, and stripped their two-year-old daughter naked thinking that she hid the drugs in the child’s underwear. Harra further said that her husband was beaten up, while she herself was shoved around by the cops despite being pregnant. She however said she did not see her husband and father-in-law when they were arrested and just learned of their death later. Superintendent Nolasco Bathan of the Pasay police said the two were killed because they tried to grab a cop’s gun when they were about to be detained. The second witness was 23-year-old Mary Rose Aquino, the eldest daughter of suspected drug dealers Rodelio and Rosalie Campos. Like Bertes, she also admitted that her parents used and sold drugs, which they sourced from Antipolo police officers. The drugs came from police operations, she said.  Aquino said her parents were going to remit some P50,000 in drug money to cops before they were killed. READ MORE...RELATED,
Bato relieves Antipolo cops tagged in drug trade...

ALSO: Cops linked to drugs, slays
[MORE THAN HALF OF 1,779 KILLINGS BLAMED ON VIGILANTES]
[RELATED: Drug killings proof of lawlessness – Amnesty Int'l]


AUGUST 23 -FACEOFF AT SENATE Sen. Leila de Lima, chair of the committee on justice and human rights, confronts PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa at the hearing on extrajudicial killings. Harra Kazuo (left photo) testifies how her partner, a drug user, and his father were killed by Pasay City policemen while in their custody. RICHARD A. REYES  TWO WOMEN who lost loved ones in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs on Monday denounced “scalawags” in the police force, tagging men in uniform as drug suppliers themselves who were behind the execution of their “assets.” In emotional and detailed accounts, Harra Kazuo and Mary Rose Aquino, the first of 12 witnesses lined up by Sen. Leila de Lima for a two-day Senate hearing, testified about suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones involving the police. Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told the chamber that the police had nothing to do with the vigilante killings and that the rotten ones in the force were being made to answer for their crimes. Dela Rosa readily ordered the sacking of police officers tagged in one of the cases tackled during the four-hour hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights headed by De Lima. “As I have said, my concern does not only revolve around the growing tally of killings reported by the Philippine National Police. What is particularly worrisome is that the campaign against drugs seems to be an excuse for some law enforcers and other elements like vigilantes to commit murder with impunity,” De Lima said. “How many people need to die before we act to correct this alarming situation?” said De Lima, who pushed through with her probe despite her escalating conflict with President Duterte.
1,779 killings Per Dela Rosa’s report, the number of killings since July 1, when the Duterte administration took office, had reached 1,779: 712 in police operations, and 1,067 outside of police operations, including possible vigilante slays. “We have nothing to do with vigilante slays, I swear on that,” Dela Rosa said. “The PNP’s stand against extrajudicial killings is uncompromising. If any policeman is found that he violated the law on self-defense, he will be investigated, prosecuted and accordingly punished.” READ MORE.RELATED, Drug killings proof of lawlessness – AI...

ALSO
De Lima: Anti-drug efforts used as excuse to kill
[Manila Standard Opinion: The Senate hearing]


AUGUST 22 -Senator Leila de Lima, chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, leads the inquiry on the extrajudicial killings, Monday morning. Senate PRIB/Cesar Tomambo
Sen. Leila De Lima on Monday called on a stop of the extrajudicial and vigilante killings, saying the campaign to combat illegal drugs is being used as excuse to legitimize murder. In her opening statement at the Senate justice and human rights panel hearing on on the killings, committee chair De Lima said not all killings recorded were connected to drug operations. She said there are indicators that even law enforcers use the Duterte administration's "war on drugs" to get away with murder. "My concern does not only revolve around the growing tally of killings reported by the Philippine National Police (PNP). What is particularly worrisome is that the campaign against drugs seems to be an excuse for some law enforcers and other elements like vigilantes to commit murder with impunity," she said. "Mayroong mga nakikisakay at nakikisabay lang sa lehitimong operasyon ng kapulisan para makatakas sa batas at para pagtakpan ang kanilang partisipasyon sa kalakalan ng droga," she added. De Lima said the Senate probe seeks to determine connections of killings nationwide and find out if they are perpetrated by organized individual groups inside or outside the government. She said the panel's investigation also seeks to verify who the victims and perpetrators are, where killings occur, if there were investigations launched after the killings and which agencies handle the probes. The senator also wants to find out when the campaign against the illegal drug market will end. "How many people need to die before we act to correct this alarming situation? Buhay po ng tao ang pinag-uusapan dito, hindi lang basta numero. Sa bawat natagpuang bangkay sa kalsada, may nawalan ng kapatid, magulang, at asawa, may naulilang pamilya, may gumuhong kinabukasan at pag-asa," De Lima said. READ MORE...RELATED, OPINION: The Senate hearing...

ALSO:
PNP against extrajudicial, vigilante killings, Bato stresses

[RELATED: Cops executing drug assets – witnesses]


AUGUST 22 -Senator Leila de Lima welcomes Philippine National Police Chief Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa before the start of the Senate hearing on the extrajudicial killings. Senate PRIB/Cesar Tomambo
The Philippine National Police on Monday reaffirmed that it is opposed to extrajudicial and vigilante killings of suspects. “The PNP’s stand against extrajudicial killings is uncompromising,” PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said in his opening statement at the Senate hearing on alleged extrajudicial killings. “On the speculation of vigilante killings, the PNP does not and will never condone vigilante killings,” he added. Dela Rosa said he already previously mentioned that the vigilante killings are “perpetuated by various syndicate groups involved in illegal drugs.” The PNP chief then expressed hope that the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights will pave the way for the resolution of the spate of drug-related killings. “Umaasa po ako na ang pagdinig na ito ay tunay na makakatulong sa ating mithiin upang mabigyan ng solusyon ang problema sa illegal na droga. Rest assured that your police is more than willing to adopt the lessons that will come out this hearing,” De la Rosa said. Dela Rosa also vowed that because of their sworn mandate to serve and protect Filipinos in accordance to the rule of law, the PNP will apply the full force of the law against those responsible for crimes. He said any police officer found to have killed a suspect, except out of self-defense, will be “investigated, prosecuted and accordingly punished.” From July 1 to August 21, 2016, Dela Rosa said 712 drug suspects were killed in actual police operations, 269 of which were recorded in the National Capital Region. On the other hand, 1,067 deaths were recorded under "non-police operations", and which the administration attributes to drug syndicates. THE FULL REPORT RELATED,
Cops executing drug assets – witnesses...

ALSO Cayetano: Extrajudicial killings used to discredit PNP and Duterte admin [RELATED: Union of Journalists (NUJP) to Cayetano - Counting drug-related killings part of media’s duty]


AUGUST 22 -Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano expressed doubts over the intention of the Senate justice committee in conducting a probe on officials of the Philippine National Police, who are in the frontline of the administration's war against illegal drugs. Senate PRIB/Released
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday questioned the Senate justice committee's intention in holding an inquiry on the rising number of extrajudicial killings and summary executions of alleged drug dealers. The senator claimed that critics of President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drugs campaign are wrongfully branding drug-related casualties as extrajudicial killings. "Are we [therefore] using the term 'extrajudicial killings' loosely to discredit the PNP and Duterte administration? I was hoping that we could educate the people more, para hindi sila ma-mislead na lahat ng patayan [ngayon] ay extrajudicial killings," Cayetano said in his opening statement during the Senate hearing. Cayetano cited Administrative Order 35, under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III, which defines extrajudicial killings. Under the order, killings that involved common criminals were not classified as extrajudicial killings. Of the 1,400 people killed during the Aquino administration, only 395 were categorized as extrajudicial killings, Cayetano said. Most killings involving common crimes were identified as "riding-in-tandem" cases. The senator added that the Senate inquiry on drug-related killings is an attempt to undermine the Duterte administration's war on drugs. "[The Filipino] people support the anti-drug war, criminals don't. Ang mga kriminal at drug pusher ay gumagastos ngayon... sa kahit ano para i-discredit ang administrasyon na ito, para matuloy ang kanilang multi-billion na negosyo," Cayetano said. READ MORE... RELATED, .Union of Journalists (NUJP) to Cayetano - Counting drug-related killings part of media’s duty...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Two witnesses testify on extrajudicial killings


Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights chair Leila de Lima (top left) fields questions to security and human rights officials present during the Senate inquiry on the recent rise in extrajudicial killings and summary killings involving suspected criminals on Monday, August 22, 2016. Senate PRIB / Cesar Tomambo

MANILA, AUGUST 29, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  August 22, 2016 - (Philippines News Agency) Two relatives of suspected drug pushers who were killed in police operations appeared at the Senate Monday to testify during the inquiry into extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration’s war on illicit drugs.

After law enforcers delivered their introductions, the witnesses, who were wearing hoodies, scarves and sunglasses to protect their identities, recounted how Philippine National Police officers “abused” their relatives even though they were only accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade.

The first witness, Harra Bertes introduced as “Harra Kazuo”, 26, was the pregnant wife of suspected drug dealer JP Bertes, and daughter-in-law of Renato Bertes.

JP and Renato Bertes were killed by Pasay City cops last July 7.

Harra Bertes admitted that her husband used to sell shabu in 2015 and that cops demanded some P10,000 in exchange for their silence. She said JP was already trying to quit drug dealing and was planning to surrender to the authorities when he was killed.

She recalled how three Pasay police officers, who she did not name, raided their house, demanded the surrender of drugs she said she did not have at that time, and stripped their two-year-old daughter naked thinking that she hid the drugs in the child’s underwear.

Harra further said that her husband was beaten up, while she herself was shoved around by the cops despite being pregnant. She however said she did not see her husband and father-in-law when they were arrested and just learned of their death later.

Superintendent Nolasco Bathan of the Pasay police said the two were killed because they tried to grab a cop’s gun when they were about to be detained.

The second witness was 23-year-old Mary Rose Aquino, the eldest daughter of suspected drug dealers Rodelio and Rosalie Campos. Like Bertes, she also admitted that her parents used and sold drugs, which they sourced from Antipolo police officers. The drugs came from police operations, she said.

Aquino said her parents were going to remit some P50,000 in drug money to cops before they were killed.

READ MORE...

In a chance interview, PNP Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, said that the Antipolo cops mentioned in the hearing will be relieved and placed in their holding unit while under investigation.

“If it is proven that all the police in Antipolo are involved in drugs, I’ll sack them all. Even the commander,” he said in Filipino.

Dela Rosa also said that he was grateful to the witnesses for the revelation.

“I’m thankful to the second witness because we discovered that there are police officers not yet in our list of scalawags. It is a new discovery,” he said.

The PNP chief also said that while some police officers are bound to suffer from low morale during the Senate inquiry, he will motivate them to continue doing their jobs.

“If you are a police with low morale, anti-drug operations may slow down but if you are a police who is committed, the more you will work hard. It’s my job to motivate them to continue doing their job,” he added.

The Senate inquiry into extrajudicial killings was presided by Senator Leila de Lima, chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights and Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

Present during the hearing were law enforcement officials from the PNP, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the National Bureau of Investigation.

Also present were resource persons from the Department of Interior and Local Government and Commission on Human Rights.

CHR said the police officers violated the right against arbitrary deprivation of life and committed torture. It furthered that the torture was confirmed by the forensics’ autopsy report.

“The report said there was a human rights violation… the right to life. The situations surrounding the killings showed aside from the arbitrary deprivation of life there was torture committed by the police,” CHR said when asked by De Lima. –PNA/Azer Parrocha with a report from Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

 
https://youtu.be/TgdYj2O6AyM
Lacson: War vs drugs' momentum mustn't be deterred by inquiries INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe62,165 Add to Share More 557 views 9 0 Published on Aug 22, 2016 Visit us at http://www.inquirer.net Facebook: http://facebook.com/inquirerdotnet Twitter: http://twitter.com/inquirerdotnet

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Bato relieves Antipolo cops tagged in drug trade SHARES: 121 VIEW COMMENTS By: Maila Ager
@MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 04:14 PM August 22nd, 2016


PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa, Lyn Rillon/PDI

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa has relieved several policemen in Antipolo who were allegedly involved in illegal drugs as well as in the salvage killing of a police “asset.”

“Effective today, i-relieve ko ‘yang mga tao na ‘yan; ilagay ko sa admin holding unit at pa-conduct ko ng investigation ang Internal Affairs Service (Effective today, those cops are relieved from their positions; I’ll put them in the admin holding unit and have the Internal Affairs Service conduct an investigation),” De la Rosa said after attending a Senate hearing on Monday.

“Kung ma po-prove lahat ng pulis dyan sa Antipolo, buong police commander tanggalin ko lahat (If proven to be true, all police commanders will be removed),” he said.

The PNP chief was referring to policemen in Antipolo tagged as drug pushers and users by witness Mary Rose Aquino, who testified at the hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights on the spate of killings in the country.


INQUIRER

Cops linked to drugs, slays
[
MORE THAN HALF OF 1,779 KILLINGS BLAMED ON VIGILANTES]
SHARES: New VIEW COMMENTS By: Tarra Quismundo
@TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:25 AM August 23rd, 2016


AUGUST 23 -FACEOFF AT SENATE Sen. Leila de Lima, chair of the committee on justice and human rights, confronts PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa at the hearing on extrajudicial killings. Harra Kazuo (left photo) testifies how her partner, a drug user, and his father were killed by Pasay City policemen while in their custody. RICHARD A. REYES

TWO WOMEN who lost loved ones in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs on Monday denounced “scalawags” in the police force, tagging men in uniform as drug suppliers themselves who were behind the execution of their “assets.”

In emotional and detailed accounts, Harra Kazuo and Mary Rose Aquino, the first of 12 witnesses lined up by Sen. Leila de Lima for a two-day Senate hearing, testified about suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones involving the police.

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told the chamber that the police had nothing to do with the vigilante killings and that the rotten ones in the force were being made to answer for their crimes.

Dela Rosa readily ordered the sacking of police officers tagged in one of the cases tackled during the four-hour hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights headed by De Lima.

“As I have said, my concern does not only revolve around the growing tally of killings reported by the Philippine National Police. What is particularly worrisome is that the campaign against drugs seems to be an excuse for some law enforcers and other elements like vigilantes to commit murder with impunity,” De Lima said.

“How many people need to die before we act to correct this alarming situation?” said De Lima, who pushed through with her probe despite her escalating conflict with President Duterte.

1,779 killings

Per Dela Rosa’s report, the number of killings since July 1, when the Duterte administration took office, had reached 1,779: 712 in police operations, and 1,067 outside of police operations, including possible vigilante slays.

“We have nothing to do with vigilante slays, I swear on that,” Dela Rosa said. “The PNP’s stand against extrajudicial killings is uncompromising. If any policeman is found that he violated the law on self-defense, he will be investigated, prosecuted and accordingly punished.”

READ MORE...

He said vigilante slays were perpetrated by “syndicate groups involved in illegal drugs.”

“If only the President orders us to stop the war on drugs, then we will just neglect it. We are really exhausted. We are also losing police officers. So if the President orders us to stop, then we will,” Dela Rosa said, replying to a question by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Dela Rosa later told reporters that Mr. Duterte was unlikely to back down. “We are tired in the sense that we are going through tough times and still, we appear to be the bad ones. When my people see that my morale is low, they are affected. We might not hit our six-month target if we get weak,” he said.

Case of father, son


A pregnant witness, the live-in partner of JP Bertes, an alleged drug

Kazuo spoke of the torture and death of live-in partner Jaypee Bertes and his father Renato Bertes on July 7, after their arrest the night before in Pasay City. Three policemen came to their house searching for drugs.

Kazuo said at the time, the family was already preparing for her husband’s surrender for fear that he would end up dead.

Kazuo admitted that her partner both sold and did drugs, while her father-in-law also used the illegal substance.

She said her boyfriend, a former family driver, just got into the trade in May last year to earn enough to get through the day.

Currently 7 months pregnant, Kazuo tearfully said she was even suspected of hiding drugs in her 2-year-old daughter’s underwear. She said policemen shoved her despite her condition.

In forcing her husband to give them his stash, the officers, said Kazuo, even threatened to kill him. To which she pleaded: “Please don’t, sir. Not in front of my child.”

Allegedly beaten en route, father and son were taken to the Pasay City Police Station 4. Kazuo visited the two twice, the last at 10 a.m. of July 7, when her husband, unable to stand properly because of injuries, pleaded to her behind bars: “Have me examined by a doctor.”

When she came back around 4:15 p.m., they were gone.

The Bertes father and son died while in police custody, allegedly after trying to grab a pistol from one of the arresting officers. She said she was told that the two men were rushed to the hospital after they were shot.

“I felt weak because I saw how many shots my husband suffered, and his hand was broken,” she said.

She said that while the Bertes used drugs, they were kind people and had no enemies.

“My point is, not all drug addicts are bad people,” she said of her partner, who she said never hurt her.

Previous arrests

She admitted her partner had two previous arrests for drug pushing and gambling (cara y cruz), both of which were allegedly fixed with the police for a fee.

Kazuo could not say why the two were killed. But she was clear on where her partner sourced drugs. “In Pasay, that’s the news there, that it’s police that also supply drugs.”

The Pasay City police chief, Senior Supt. Nolasco Bathan, said that two unnamed police officers were charged on Monday with murder for the Bertes deaths.

Asked if he agreed with the charges, Dela Rosa said: “I will just agree with that, just so they (critics of the drug war) will be happy.”

40 cops implicated

Aquino, daughter of two slain drug pushers, implicated 30 to 40 officers from Antipolo City in the drug trade, testifying that they not only supplied drugs to her parents but also did pot sessions in her family home while in uniform.

She said police officers led by a certain “Rabe” visited her parents about four times a week to get the week’s sales.

“They bring my Papa along in their raids. The drugs they confiscate, they ask my Papa to sell,” she said.

“They bring drugs for my parents to repack. And then they go upstairs, my Mama asks us to come down. I see my Mama and Papa repack while the police do drugs,” Aquino said.

She said her parents had left their home on June 20 with P50,000 in cash for their alleged police bosses. Her mother later got in touch with her uncle in apparent distress, saying: “If we die, it was Hong who killed us.”

Aquino saw her parents next at a morgue, getting news from an officer named “Gamad.” Their bodies had been found separately.

Dela Rosa ordered the administrative relief of the three officers named by Aquino―Rabe, Gamad and Hong or Ong. If investigation warrants it, he said, the entire Antipolo City police station personnel will be sacked.


CAYETANO

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, one of Mr. Duterte’s closest allies, defended the campaign, saying there were more deaths under the Aquino administration and even blasting the media for compiling a “kill list.”

STATISTICS

Citing PNP statistics, he said there were 34 deaths daily in 2015, compared to 20 today.

“The portrayal in the media is that we are now the wild, wild west. But now, respect and fear for the law is restored… Drug lords and their supporters are on the run. People are beginning to feel safe. [There is a] renewed trust in law enforcers,” Cayetano said. With a report from Jerome Aning

WATCH ON VIDEOS:

 
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Police kill 'pusher' in Pasay: Woman details want went before INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe62,165 Add to Share More 1,916 views 2 23 Published on Aug 21, 2016 An emotional, pregnant mother faced the Senate on Monday and alleged how her live-in partner and their two-year-old daughter suffered from police brutality during a buy-bust operation last month.

 
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268 drug cases already filed - Bato de la Rosa  INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe62,165 Add to Share More 181 views 5 0 Published on Aug 22, 2016 Visit us at http://www.inquirer.net Facebook: http://facebook.com/inquirerdotnet Twitter: http://twitter.com/inquirerdotnet

 
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Cayetano defends Duterte admin in killings probe INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe62,165 Add to Share More 414 views 39 1 Published on Aug 22, 2016 Visit us at http://www.inquirer.net Facebook: http://facebook.com/inquirerdotnet Twitter: http://twitter.com/inquirerdotnet

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MANILA TIMES

Drug killings proof of lawlessness – AI BY MANILA TIMES ON AUGUST 25, 2016 THE LATEST NEWS, TODAY'S BREAKING NEWS



THE wave of “terrifying” drug killings is an indication of lawlessness and not crime control, human rights group Amnesty International (AI) said on Wednesday.

The group issued the statement after Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa informed the Senate that unidentified persons or groups have killed at least 1,067 people while the police shot dead more than 712 drug suspects in legitimate operations since July 1.

“[The killings] is a terrifying indication that the authorities are grossly failing in their obligations to respect and protect the right to life,” Amnesty said.

The London-based organization stressed that the recent confession and obvious knowledge of authorities on the volume of citizens killed “have further endangered the right to life.”

When he appeared at the Senate on Monday, dela Rosa pledged that all allegations of murder and extrajudicial executions by police will be investigated.

But AI said an independent police complaints commission should be set up to investigate extrajudicial killings.

The commission, Amnesty suggested, should have the mandate to receive complaints and other reports of human rights violations committed by the police, be required to report publicly on its activities and have the mandate and resources to provide protection to complainants, victims and witnesses.

“Incitement to violence and discrimination are prohibited under international law and risk escalating a cycle of violence in the country. The unlawful and deliberate killing carried out by order of a state actor, or with the state’s complicity or acquiescence, is an extrajudicial execution. This is a crime under international law,” it said.

“States have an obligation to investigate and prosecute credible allegations of murder and extrajudicial executions and bring those suspected of criminal responsibility before justice in fair trials,” Amnesty added.

Drug peddlers

The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) said more than 45,000 “self-confessed” illegal drug peddlers have turned themselves in since the Duterte Administration implemented an intensified crackdown on drug users and pushers.

Felipe Rojas Jr., head of DDB, told members of the House of Representatives that 45,799 drug pushers surrendered while 518, 310 drug users have turned themselves in as of August 11.

Rojas briefed members of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs chaired by Surigao del Norte Rep. Ace Barbers on Wednesday.

Because of the avalanche of surrenderers, Rojas sought amendments to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act noting that there is no standard system of evaluation for those who have confessed to being drug users.

“Under existing laws, there has to be an issuance of a court order for a drug user to be admitted in a rehabilitation facility. This rule clogs up our processes, that’s why we are pushing that drug users be admitted in a rehabilitation facility based on the recommendation of the doctors from our Department of Health,” he told lawmakers.

There are 47 drug rehabilitation centers across the country, but there are only three rehabilitation centers for outpatients.

“In that way, there will be a streamlining of processes for treatment and rehabilitation of drug users. With a court order as a requirement…the DDB has only three lawyers, and that figure is certainly not enough to secure court orders needed for the rehabilitation of the drug users,” Rojas, a former police general, added.

He said while authorities are gaining a headway in the campaign against illegal drugs, “we have a long way to go to defeat this menace.”
Rojas urged the Congress to amend the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act by changing the definition of a drug den/dive/resort to include concert venues. He also called for higher fines and longer jail time for those convicted of drug possession and sale; plea bargain deals so that street pushers will be able to identify big-time drug lords. Michael Delizo and Llanesca T. Panti


PHILSTAR

De Lima: Anti-drug efforts used as excuse to kill By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated August 22, 2016 - 11:35am 6 242 googleplus2 1


Senator Leila de Lima, chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, leads the inquiry on the extrajudicial killings, Monday morning. Senate PRIB/Cesar Tomambo

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima on Monday called on a stop of the extrajudicial and vigilante killings, saying the campaign to combat illegal drugs is being used as excuse to legitimize murder.

In her opening statement at the Senate justice and human rights panel hearing on on the killings, committee chair De Lima said not all killings recorded were connected to drug operations. She said there are indicators that even law enforcers use the Duterte administration's "war on drugs" to get away with murder.

"My concern does not only revolve around the growing tally of killings reported by the Philippine National Police (PNP). What is particularly worrisome is that the campaign against drugs seems to be an excuse for some law enforcers and other elements like vigilantes to commit murder with impunity," she said.

"Mayroong mga nakikisakay at nakikisabay lang sa lehitimong operasyon ng kapulisan para makatakas sa batas at para pagtakpan ang kanilang partisipasyon sa kalakalan ng droga," she added.

De Lima said the Senate probe seeks to determine connections of killings nationwide and find out if they are perpetrated by organized individual groups inside or outside the government.

She said the panel's investigation also seeks to verify who the victims and perpetrators are, where killings occur, if there were investigations launched after the killings and which agencies handle the probes. The senator also wants to find out when the campaign against the illegal drug market will end.

"How many people need to die before we act to correct this alarming situation? Buhay po ng tao ang pinag-uusapan dito, hindi lang basta numero. Sa bawat natagpuang bangkay sa kalsada, may nawalan ng kapatid, magulang, at asawa, may naulilang pamilya, may gumuhong kinabukasan at pag-asa," De Lima said.

READ MORE...

"I strongly believe: Extrajudicial or extralegal killings, whether perpetrated by the State or by non-state actors must stop. Blatant disregard for human life has to stop," she added.

Government not being blamed

The senator clarified that the hearing is not being blamed on the government, stressing that death squads are also not attributed to the government. She said the alarming figure of deaths alone warrants investigation.

WATCH: Senate hearing on drug-related killings

"Hindi ko sinasabing ang lahat ng nagaganap na pagpatay sa operasyon ng mga pulis ay walang legal na batayan sa paggamit ng lethal force. Masyado lang marami ngayon ang napapatay sa mga engkwentro kumpara sa mga nakaraang panahon para hindi magduda kung nasusunod ba talaga ang rules of engagement," De Lima said.

De Lima cited that PNP chief police Director General Bato Dela Rosa mentioned 899 killings with links to drugs.

President Rodrigo Duterte has accused De Lima of having an affair with her married driver, who has allegedly received money from the drug trade on her behalf. The senator called allegation that she is linked to the illicit market an "absolute lie," daring the president's camp to show proof.

 
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De Lima: 12 witnesses to face Senate probe on summary killings INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe62,165 Add to Share More 5,016 views 8 68 Published on Aug 21, 2016 Twelve witnesses to at least eight cases of killings will face the Senate inquiry on the rise of alleged extrajudicial killings and summary executions in the country, Senator Leila de Lima said on Monday.

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RELATED STANDARD OPINION

The Senate hearing posted August 25, 2016 at 12:01 am by Florencio Fianza


by Florencio Fianza

In spite of the rhetorical fireworks between Senator Leila De Lima and the Palace, the Senate hearing was held as scheduled. By and large, the two-day hearing was conducted with utmost civility and were both instructive and revealing. This was perhaps because although the President was not in the Senate chamber physically, his presence was palpable. All the sides were able to present their views in a way that was not offensive to anyone.

If at all, the hearings showed not only to the Philippine public but also the international community that the principle of checks and balances as practiced in our system of government is alive and well.

Due to the controversial subject of the hearing, most of the members of the Senate were in attendance. Both the newcomers and the veterans came ready with their questions and opinions. And why not? It was show time and most of them wasted no time in charging into battle so to speak.

Some did well, some were mediocre at best and others quite frankly are in need of more tutorial. Like many Senate hearings, the proceedings meandered somewhat to other topics but this in a way was good because many issues were brought out. They in turn educated the viewing public to better understand the prevailing peace-and-order situation and the extent of the illegal drug problem.

There were pluses and minuses on both sides. The critics had their say on what they termed as an unacceptable number of people being killed. The PNP was also able to highlight its position. The hearing of course did not solve anything. After all, it was held in aid of legislation; we will all have to wait and see what sort of law will be crafted to improve police capability and methods.

* * *

The plus on the side of the PNP was that its chief, Bato De la Rosa, was able to make a peace and order presentation. Because of the campaign, the peace and order situation improved significantly for the first half of the year. For the month of July alone, crime volume went down by 31 percent. This was accomplished in spite of serious deficiencies in firearms, vehicles and communication equipment.

If I am not mistaken, the PNP is short of 6,000 vehicles and 18,000 firearms. The PNP strength of 160,000 is also short of the ideal. There is supposed to be one policeman per 500 people. The training of recruits and career training programs is handled by another agency. This is a problem that has never been resolved and is the only one of its kind in the world. Training is the instrument that builds tradition, esprit de corps and discipline if handled by the same organization but this is not the case with the PNP. This problem was clearly demonstrated by the behavior of the two policemen who were called to testify.

The current Chief of Police of Pasay City also appeared not to know the difference between homicide and murder – and to think that he is a chief of police! Maybe Senator Ping Lacson, being the chairman of the Committee on Public Order, can finally do it. To the credit of the PNP, it showed its willingness to charge its members who clearly have committed abuses in the conduct of anti-drug operations.

* * *

The statement of the two resource speakers whose family members were killed in the conduct of police operations was powerful and compelling. The PNP cannot simply ignore it. Assuming that all their statements were true, the police has a lot of explaining to do and hopefully, these two cases are the exceptions and not the rule. In the case of the Pasay City operations wherein father and son were killed under police custody, it was clear that the operation from the beginning was conducted illegally. There was no search warrant and the conduct of the raiding party was unacceptable.

What one of the policemen did to the two-year-old daughter of Hara Kozou, the witness, was also tantamount to sexual perversion. The two were subsequently killed under police custody and appeared to have been tortured before being killed. This is the reason why murder charges were filed against two members of the raiding team. Nothing however, was mentioned about other charges being filed against the other members of the raiding team.

In the case of the Antipolo couple who were also killed, it would appear that it was a case of the policemen engaged in the illegal drug trade wanting to cover their tracks. But what does that say of the police killing their own assets? This will make it harder to recruit informers—indispensable to police work. Some of the police mentioned in the Antipolo raid have already gone on Awol and are apparently now being hunted.

The PNP leadership, at least in these two cases, have shown open mindedness to go after scalawags in uniform and hopefully will do the same in other similar cases where there is clearly police abuse. Only by doing this can the public completely trust the police to do the right thing. We still do not know where the illegal drug campaign is heading or when and how it will eventually end.

Even as I write this piece, the President again implicated Senator Leila De Lima, a governor and a former undersecretary of Justice.

However this campaign ends, let us all hope that the medicine being prescribed will indeed cure the disease instead of killing the patient in the end.


PHILSTAR

PNP against extrajudicial, vigilante killings, Bato stresses By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated August 22, 2016 - 2:15pm 18 2584 googleplus0 1


Senator Leila de Lima welcomes Philippine National Police Chief Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa before the start of the Senate hearing on the extrajudicial killings. Senate PRIB/Cesar Tomambo

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police on Monday reaffirmed that it is opposed to extrajudicial and vigilante killings of suspects.

“The PNP’s stand against extrajudicial killings is uncompromising,” PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said in his opening statement at the Senate hearing on alleged extrajudicial killings.

“On the speculation of vigilante killings, the PNP does not and will never condone vigilante killings,” he added.

Dela Rosa said he already previously mentioned that the vigilante killings are “perpetuated by various syndicate groups involved in illegal drugs.”

The PNP chief then expressed hope that the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights will pave the way for the resolution of the spate of drug-related killings.

“Umaasa po ako na ang pagdinig na ito ay tunay na makakatulong sa ating mithiin upang mabigyan ng solusyon ang problema sa illegal na droga. Rest assured that your police is more than willing to adopt the lessons that will come out this hearing,” De la Rosa said.

Dela Rosa also vowed that because of their sworn mandate to serve and protect Filipinos in accordance to the rule of law, the PNP will apply the full force of the law against those responsible for crimes. He said any police officer found to have killed a suspect, except out of self-defense, will be “investigated, prosecuted and accordingly punished.”

From July 1 to August 21, 2016, Dela Rosa said 712 drug suspects were killed in actual police operations, 269 of which were recorded in the National Capital Region. On the other hand, 1,067 deaths were recorded under "non-police operations", and which the administration attributes to drug syndicates.

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Cops executing drug assets – witnesses By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 23, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa and Commission on Human Rights chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon listen to Sen. Leila de Lima’s speech during the opening of the Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings yesterday. Mary Rose Campos (middle photo) testified that her parents were killed by Antipolo City policemen while Harra Kazuo said her common-law husband, alleged drug pusher JP Bertes, and his father were beaten and shot dead by police officers in a Pasay police station in July. GEREMY PINTOLO

MANILA, Philippines - The witnesses’ narratives had a common thread: the victims were low-level drug pushers silenced by corrupt law enforcers who were either their protectors or suppliers in the illegal drug trade.

This emerged at the first Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings led by the committee on justice and human rights, chaired by Sen. Leila de Lima, and the committee on public order and illegal drugs chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa told the joint hearing that as of yesterday, the PNP had tallied 712 suspects killed in legitimate operations, of whom 269 were reported in Metro Manila, since the Duterte administration launched its war on drugs on July 1.

However, the PNP also recorded 1,067 killed “outside police operations” or apparently by vigilantes, he said.

“Frankly, I have never seen anything on the scale of the current anti-illegal drug campaign under this administration,” said Lacson, a former PNP chief.

“The momentum that the police have gained over a short period through life-risking work of fighting illegal drugs must not be deterred by legislative inquiries like what we are conducting right now,” he said.

The inquiry pushed through despite what De Lima claimed were attempts by no less than President Duterte to pressure her not to conduct it, including linking her and her former driver-bodyguard to illegal drugs.

DE LIMA

De Lima surmised the Duterte administration’s war against drugs, including calling for the death of drug pushers, was encouraging extrajudicial killings.

To prove her point, she presented witnesses, including 26-year-old Harra Kazuo, whose common-law husband JP Bertes and his father Renato Bertes were allegedly taken from their house in Pasay City on the night of July 6 by local policemen, and fatally shot in a police station the following day.

1st WITNESS

Kazuo said three policemen barged into their house that night looking for drugs and beat up the two men.

The same group of policemen arrested her husband for illegal gambling several months ago and freed him on a P20,000 bribe. JP was arrested a few months later by the same group for possession of “shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride)” but again let him off after they were bribed by Kazuo.

She also disclosed that one of the police officers stripped her two-year-old daughter and searched her private parts. He also wanted to strip search her but she begged not to be touched as she was pregnant.

“They (Bertezes) were kind and my husband wanted to follow Papa (Renato) and surrender the following morning. We talked about it,” a teary-eyed Kazuo said in Filipino. “Not all drug addicts are bad. They can change for the better.”

2nd WITNESS

The second witness, 23-year-old Mary Rose Campos, testified that her mother and father –Rodelio and Rosalie – were killed by Antipolo City policemen, who had been supplying her parents with shabu to sell.

Campos disclosed that her father was also an “asset” of anti-narcotics policemen of Antipolo City, while selling drugs. Her mother was forced to accompany him in his dealings, fearing her husband would be killed.

She said on the day her parents disappeared, they ignored calls coming from a certain Rabe, who is a police officer. She said her parents wanted out of the drug trade.

Her father finally answered the phone, putting it on speaker for his children to hear. The caller was so angry and asked her father to see him to “remit” sales for the shabu.

Campos disclosed drugs confiscated by the policemen were repacked in their house in Antipolo City to be sold later.

She said sometimes the same policemen would hold pot sessions in their house. She said about 30 to 40 policemen from Antipolo City are involved in illegal drugs, based on their visits to their house.

She learned of her parents’ death two days later when one of the policemen – a certain Gammad – informed her that he saw her parents in the morgue.

There were 12 witnesses but only two were able to testify due to lack of time. Affidavits seen by The STAR, however, included another case from Antipolo City and one from Cagayan province involving agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The other affidavits were from minors.

A Senate staff said the minors would testify today but they would be withheld from view.

‘Relieved’

Police Officer 2 Dennis Malabanan and PO1 Reynald Rabe are surrounded by members of media during a visit by PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa at the Rizal Provincial Police headquarters in Antipolo yesterday. A witness linked the two lawmen to the illegal drug trade. BOY SANTOS Pasay City police chief Supt. Nolasco Bathan said following an investigation, two of his men accused in the Bertes deaths were charged with murder.

The Commission on Human Rights conducted an investigation into the case and found out there was “arbitrary deprivation of human life.”

Dela Rosa expressed alarm over Campos’ testimony and ordered the relief of the Antipolo City policemen identified by the witness.

He said the war against drugs is extremely difficult and deadly but they will not tolerate abuses.

“The PNP’s stand against extrajudicial killings is uncompromising. On the speculation of vigilante killings, the PNP does not and will never condone vigilante killings,” he said at the start of the hearing.

Dela Rosa said he had already emphasized the vigilante killings are “perpetuated by various syndicate groups involved in illegal drugs.”

Any police officer found to have killed a suspect, except out of self-defense, would be “investigated, prosecuted and accordingly punished,” he said.

CAYETANO

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who was opposing the conduct of the inquiry on the grounds that it was premature, said De Lima was not being totally honest in the inquiry and was in effect derailing the anti-drug campaign.

He said critics of the Duterte administration are wrongfully branding all drug-related casualties as “extrajudicial killings.”

To prove his point, he cited Administrative Order No. 35 under the Aquino administration, which presented a more specific definition of extrajudicial killings.

Under the order, killings involving common criminals were not classified as extrajudicial.

The senator said before the Duterte administration, most murders involving common crimes were merely classified as “riding-in-tandem” cases. In fact, of the 1,400 people killed during the Aquino administration, only 394 were categorized as extrajudicial killings.

De Lima, who signed the guidelines of the AO, knows the victims of extrajudicial killings are members of groups with advocacies like political, labor, agrarian and similar causes, and members of media.

“The people support the anti-drug war, criminals don’t. Criminals and drug pushers are spending money now, anything to discredit this administration to continue their multibillion-peso business,” he said.

Meanwhile, a total of 130 of over 99,000 policemen who underwent drug tests nationwide were found positive for shabu use, said PNP Crime Laboratory head Chief Supt. Emmanuel Aranas.

Aranas said the ranks of the 130 police officers were from chief inspector down to police officer 1, the lowest rank in the PNP. – Cecille Suerte Felipe


PHILSTAR

Cayetano: Extrajudicial killings used to discredit Duterte admin By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated August 22, 2016 - 4:43pm 18 1229 googleplus0 0


Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano expressed doubts over the intention of the Senate justice committee in conducting a probe on officials of the Philippine National Police, who are in the frontline of the administration's war against illegal drugs. Senate PRIB/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday questioned the Senate justice committee's intention in holding an inquiry on the rising number of extrajudicial killings and summary executions of alleged drug dealers.

The senator claimed that critics of President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drugs campaign are wrongfully branding drug-related casualties as extrajudicial killings.

"Are we [therefore] using the term 'extrajudicial killings' loosely to discredit the PNP and Duterte administration? I was hoping that we could educate the people more, para hindi sila ma-mislead na lahat ng patayan [ngayon] ay extrajudicial killings," Cayetano said in his opening statement during the Senate hearing.

Cayetano cited Administrative Order 35, under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III, which defines extrajudicial killings.

Under the order, killings that involved common criminals were not classified as extrajudicial killings.

Of the 1,400 people killed during the Aquino administration, only 395 were categorized as extrajudicial killings, Cayetano said. Most killings involving common crimes were identified as "riding-in-tandem" cases.

The senator added that the Senate inquiry on drug-related killings is an attempt to undermine the Duterte administration's war on drugs.

"[The Filipino] people support the anti-drug war, criminals don't. Ang mga kriminal at drug pusher ay gumagastos ngayon... sa kahit ano para i-discredit ang administrasyon na ito, para matuloy ang kanilang multi-billion na negosyo," Cayetano said.

READ MORE...

Cayetano noted that there was no increase in the number of killings since Duterte assumed office. He added that crime volume decreased a month after the new president took authority.

Based on data from the Philippine National Police, overall crime volume in the country dropped by 5,522 incidents after the first month of the new administration, the senator said.

"Ngayon po, the respect and fear of the law have been restored. Drug lords and their supporters are on the run. People are beginning to feel safe. [There is a] renewed trust in the government under President Duterte," the senator said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Leila de Lima stressed that the anti-drugs campaign is being used as an excuse to legitimize murder.

"What is particularly worrisome is that the campaign against drugs seems to be an excuse for some law enforcers and other elements like vigilantes to commit murder with impunity," De Lima said in her opening statement at the Senate panel hearing on the killings.

De Lima filed the Senate resolution which orders the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights and Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to investigate the spate of drug-related killings in the country.

VIDEO: CaYETANO FULL OPENING STATEMENT AUG 22

 
https://youtu.be/8r-SxoibAVs
CAYETANO TO DE LIMA 'BAGO KA LANG DITO SA SENADO!' | Cayetano Full Opening Statement (Aug 22)
Published on Aug 22, 2016
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday questioned the Senate justice committee's intention in holding an inquiry on the rising number of extrajudicial killings and summary executions of alleged drug dealers.

In a speech during a Senate inquiry on drug-related killings, Cayetano cited Administrative Order 35 under the previous Aquino administration, which he said had a more exclusive definition of EJKs. "Ayon sa AO 35: “The victim was a member or affiliated of an organization to include political, environmental, agrarian labor, or similar causes. An advocate of the abovenamed causes, media practitioners etc. Ibig sabihin po, labor leader ka, media ka, religious leader ka. Pinatay ka dahil sa paniniwala mo...Ang common criminals at crimes, hindi kasama sa extrajudicial killings.”

Cayetano expressed fears that the Senate inquiry would send a backlash to the country's law enforcement bodies. Before he could finish his last slide, Cayetano was cut by De Lima, who strictly enforced a five-minute rule for the senators' opening speeches. "Time is up," De Lima told Cayetano, who then uttered his final statement.

"Ang statement ni Pangulong Duterte at PNP Chief Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa na nagsasabi, 'Ayoko ng EJKs... So be fair. Pero sana sa interviews, and kapatid sa media, panay ang report n'yo na gusto ng pangulo at ng PNP ng EJKs," he said. In response, De Lima said resource speakers would be asked throughout the hearing to help properly define which among the killings should be classified as EJKs.

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NUJP to Cayetano: Counting drug-related killings part of media’s duty By Artemio A. Dumlao (philstar.com) | Updated August 23, 2016 - 3:44pm 14 94 googleplus0 0


Senator Alan Peter Cayetano criticized the media for coming up with “kill lists” or tally of drug-related killings. Philstar.com/File photo

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) slammed Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for accusing the media of blowing up the number of drug-related killings.

“Cayetano protested too much when he insinuates that media have been blowing up the rash of killings that have accompanied the Duterte administration’s war on drugs or worse, are embarked on a campaign to tar the present dispensation,” said NUJP chairman Ryan Rosauro in a statement.

During a Senate inquiry on Monday, Cayetano criticized two media outfits for coming up with “kill lists.”

The NUJP said that the senator’s allegations have been dispelled by Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa who showed statistics on drug-related deaths.

Citing Dela Rosa’s report, the NUJP said the number of killings since July 1 had reached 1,779; 712 of which in police operations. Deaths outside of police operations or allegedly committed by vigilantes had climbed to 1,067 from 899 in a weeks’ time.

“What would Mr. Cayetano have the media do, play blind as the bodies pile up and go along with the canard to declare all who have died, including the innocent -- and yes, there have been innocents -- guilty as alleged and, thus, deserving of their fate sans due process as our laws and the very principle of rule of law that this administration wishes, and rightly so, to restore?,” said Rosauro.

"Sadly, like Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre before him, Mr. Cayetano also irresponsibly raises the claim, without proffering an iota of evidence, that media are among those being bought off with drug money supposedly to discredit the administration," he added.

The NUJP chairman said Cayetano's claims put the lives of journalists at risks, adding that more than 170 journalists have been killed in the country since 1986.

Rosauro added that they also desire to rid crime and drugs.

“This, we do not doubt, is the fervent wish of all Filipinos, regardless of where they stand on the issue of the war on drugs and on how this should be carried out. But we do mind it when his zeal drives him to spout careless and baseless accusations that endanger not only us but others as well,” he said.

The NUJP urged journalists to continue documenting the “twists and turns of the war on drugs.”

“That may take us to counting, or more importantly, explaining the context of the daily piling up of deaths,” Rosauro said.


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