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DU30 DISSOLVES THE 'ANTI ILLEGAL DRUGS GROUP' (AIDG); 'BATO' STOPS ILLEGAL DRUG WAR[RELATED: SAF tapped to go after rogue cops; DoJ chief suspends NBI’s anti-drug ops]


JANUARY 31 -KOREAN CONCERN – President Rodrigo R. Duterte (right) speaks with South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae-Shin (center) and Choi Kyung-in (head covered by a shawl), wife of slain South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, during their meeting at the Music Room in Malacañang, Monday. (Richard Viñas|Manila Bulletin)
After tagging the Philippine National Police (PNP) as “corrupt to the core,” President Duterte dissolved the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) of the PNP in efforts to cleanse it of corrupt police officers. Following the President’s move, PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa yesterday suspended the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operation nationwide to focus on the cleansing of the police force. “We have to focus our efforts towards internal cleansing. And by the time na ma-cleanse natin ang PNP, the President will determine that and he will instruct us to go back on the war on drugs. But right now, no more drug operations,” he said. Upon instructions of the President, Dela Rosa is set to create a Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) who will report directly to him on whatever they have gathered about the illegal activities of policemen. A visibly irked Duterte called a press conference close to midnight Sunday as the country went to sleep to dish out orders following the abduction of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo last October 18 by operatives of the AIDG. Jee was brought to Camp Crame, the police headquarters and was reportedly killed inside the camp only a stone’s throw away from the official residence of Dela Rosa. READ MORE...RELATED,
SAF tapped to go after rogue cops; DoJ chief suspends NBI’s anti-drug ops...

ALSO: As part of cleansing task, Duterte ordered probe on AI claimed ‘pay per kill’
[RELATED: NBI execs sacked over Korean’s kidnap-slay]


FEBRUARY 3 -NEW POLICE RECRUITS take their oath during a ceremony at Camp Florendo in San Fernando City, La Union on Tuesday. JUN ELIAS
I will kill more – Rody MANILA, Philippines - Reports that policemen were given incentives for every drug suspect killed would be probed as part of the cleansing process of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Malacañang said yesterday. “It’s part of the cleansing operation. It’s being looked into,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said. “Definitely the President is concerned about what’s happening and has actually responded, as you can very well see,” he added. Abella cited the President’s decision to suspend the PNP’s anti-illegal drug operations following the death of a South Korean businessman at the hands of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG). “The President’s anti-drug war does not condone extrajudicial killings and the President is clear that he is after criminals,” Abella said. “Again, let me just say, criminal cops are not government. Their illegal acts do not represent the police institution whose duty is to ensure the protection and security of civilians.” READ MORE...RELATED 4 NBI execs sacked over Korean’s kidnap-slay...

ALSO: Only select few from AFP to join drug war, Duterte says
 [RELATED: Enlisting military for anti-drug operations ‘very dangerous’ – Ping]


FEBRUARY 1 -In this Jan. 20, 2017 photo, riot police retreat to allow protesters to get closer to the US Embassy to protest the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, February 1, said the Philippine National Police has “lost its power” to enforce laws on illegal drugs, which he said some cops to commit wrongdoings. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
Only a “select few” from the military would be involved in the anti-drug war, President Rodrigo Duterte said, as he criticized some policemen for supposedly using the narcotics crackdown to commit abuses. Duterte said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has “lost its power” to enforce laws on illegal drugs and the only ones who can conduct such operations are Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives. “They (PNP) have lost the power to enforce drug laws. Marami naimbentong kalokohan talaga pulis (These policemen have invented a lot of shenanigans),” the president said during the traditional dinner with Sergeant Majors in Malacañan. “It’s only the Armed Forces selected few and the PDEA can operate now against drugs para walang — wala ng kalokohan (so there will be no more shenanigans),” he added. READ MORE...RELATED,
 Enlisting military for anti-drug operations ‘very dangerous’ – Ping...

ALSO: PNP chief dares Amnesty International (AI) to file charges
[RELATED: Yellow senators insist on AI report probe]


FEBRUARY 4 -Ronald M. Dela Rosa Police Director General PHOTO FROM PNP WEBSITE
THE head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday dared Amnesty International to file charges before the Ombudsman and substantiate claims police officers were paid to kill drug suspects. Malacañang said the government would look into the report of the London-based human rights group, but insisted the PNP has no official policy allowing police and hired assassins to kill drug suspects. PNP Chief Ronald de la Rosa claimed the report, in which an unnamed police officer admitted that anti-drug operatives were paid as much as P15,000 for every drug suspect killed, could be another demolition job against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. The police force has no money to pay hired killers, he pointed out. “Bring that person out in the open. File a complaint. Bring that person to the Ombudsman to clear things up,” de la Rosa said. PNP spokesman Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos said: “We take strong exception to opinions raised in the latest report of Amnesty International which claims that police plant evidence, take under-the-table cash, fabricate reports, and paid killers on police payroll.” READ MORE...RELATED, Yellow senators insist on AI report probe...

ALSO: Anti-drug cops 'paid per kill' – Amnesty International (AI)
[RELATED: PNP, solons slam Amnesty charges of cop killings]
[RELATED(2): Church, EJK victims’ kin denounce killings]


FEBRUARY 2 -Wilnor Papa and Sr. Maria Vida Cordero of Amnesty International condemn the killings of poor people during a press conference in Quezon City yesterday. BOY SANTOS
Philippine police, “acting on instructions from the very top of government,” gunned down and enlisted others to kill thousands of alleged drug offenders in a wave of extrajudicial executions that may amount to crimes against humanity, Amnesty International (AI) said in a report released yesterday. AI’s investigation – “If you are poor you are killed”: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines’ “War on Drugs” – details how police “have systematically targeted mostly poor and defenseless people” across the country while planting “evidence,” recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports. Quoting a police officer involved in the war on drugs, AI reported that police received from P8,000 to P15,000 as incentive for every drug personality they killed. This was denied by officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP). President Duterte and other government officials have also consistently denied condoning extrajudicial killings, insisting that all the drug suspects killed in legitimate law enforcement operations had resisted arrest or fought it out – nanlaban. READ MORE...RELATED, PNP, solons slam Amnesty charges of cop killings...
RELATED(2), Church, EJK victims’ kin denounce killings...

ALSO: Duterte slams AI for pay-for-kill claim in drug war
[EDITORIAL: 'FRIGHTENING' (The AI Report]

[RELATED(2): Duterte gov’t ordered, paid killers in war on drugs — Amnesty International (AI)]


FEBRUARY 3 -President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo by AARON FAVILA/AP) President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday hit back at Amnesty International (AI) for accusing his administration of ordering police and paying others to kill drug offenders in his brutal war on illegal drugs. “Sabi binibigyan raw ng singko mil kada… P***** i**. Bakit man ako magbigay sa inyo para magpatay? Trabaho niyo ‘yan (The report claimed that for every kill, there is a reward of P5000. S** of a b****. Why would I give you money for killing? That’s your job),” Duterte said in a speech in North Cotabato.  In a report on Wednesday, AI said the drug-related killings in the country “may amount to crimes against humanity.”
READ: Duterte gov’t ordered, paid killers in war on drugs — AI     Malacañang has insisted there were no state-sponsored killings in the country amid the accusation of international human rights watchdog. READ: Palace on AI report: No state-sponsored killings in PH Latest data from the Philippine National Police showed that 2, 555 were killed in police operations while 4,000 deaths were under investigation. RAM FULL REPORT, RELATED,  EDITORIAL: 'FRIGHTENING' (The AI Report)...RELATED(2) Duterte gov’t ordered, paid killers in war on drugs — Amnesty International (AI)...


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Duterte dissolves AIDG; Dela Rosa stops operations against illegal drugs


KOREAN CONCERN – President Rodrigo R. Duterte (right) speaks with South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae-Shin (center) and Choi Kyung-in (head covered by a shawl), wife of slain South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, during their meeting at the Music Room in Malacañang, Monday. (Richard Viñas|Manila Bulletin)

MANILA, FEBRUARY 6, 2017 (PHILSTAR) January 31, 2017, 10:23 AM By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos and Mario B. Casayuran - After tagging the Philippine National Police (PNP) as “corrupt to the core,” President Duterte dissolved the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) of the PNP in efforts to cleanse it of corrupt police officers. Following the President’s move, PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa yesterday suspended the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operation nationwide to focus on the cleansing of the police force.

“We have to focus our efforts towards internal cleansing. And by the time na ma-cleanse natin ang PNP, the President will determine that and he will instruct us to go back on the war on drugs. But right now, no more drug operations,” he said.

Upon instructions of the President, Dela Rosa is set to create a Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) who will report directly to him on whatever they have gathered about the illegal activities of policemen.

A visibly irked Duterte called a press conference close to midnight Sunday as the country went to sleep to dish out orders following the abduction of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo last October 18 by operatives of the AIDG. Jee was brought to Camp Crame, the police headquarters and was reportedly killed inside the camp only a stone’s throw away from the official residence of Dela Rosa.

READ MORE...

The incident embarrassed the country, the President and questioned credibility of the police in carrying out the war on drugs campaign of the President. The President promised members of the PNP to shield them from prosecution in the illegal drugs campaign.

Duterte said the ‘sordid incident’ left him with no choice but to reorganize the organization and implement ‘severe corrections’ in the system.

“My enemies here are the police who are criminals,” he said.

New assignments

Dela Rosa offered to resign as PNP chief Saturday to give the President a free hand to choose someone who can do the job within his expectations. But the President rejected the offer and changed tact. Police scalawags will continue with or without Dela Rosa, he said.

“Jee’s murder is an injustice, but to ask for the head of the PNP chief, there’s no rhyme or reason for that. Even if you say chain of command,” Duterte said.

“I don’t want to belabor the President for whatever misdeeds that the PNP has done. I don’t want to add more embarrassment to the country,” Dela Rosa said.

“Again, not all those assigned to anti-drugs units of the PNP are bad. Unfortunately, there are bad eggs in the service but most of them are honest,” he qualified.

“I am sorry for them. Most of them are performing very well and I am very sorry for their eventual dissolution because they were just caught up with the mess. I am very sorry, but the President said we need drastic actions and this is the drastic action we are taking right now, all units are dissolved,” he said.

Dela Rosa, however, assured those assigned to AIDG units and are not involved in illegal activities will be given new assignments. Their new assignments will depend on their superiors.

All anti-illegal drugs operations will be done by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEA)

Since the launch of “Oplan Tokhang,” the PNP’s all-out war on illegal drugs, the project has resulted in the surrender of 1,178,224 drug personalities from July 1, 2016 up to 6 a.m. of January 30, 2017.

A total of 7,031,194 homes were also visited by policemen in order to convince illegal drug users and pushers to end their illegal activities.

End of term

In his earnest to reform the police force, the President said the war against illegal drugs will be carried out until the end of his term. He earlier extended the operations against illegal drug syndicates until March.

He also directed Dela Rosa to review the records of cops, especially those with criminal records but who were reinstated into the service.

Duterte said he will clean the police roster of rogue cops who are “just as lousy as the drug lords” who continue to collect their salaries despite their criminal cases.

The President noted that new graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy even choose assignments in regions where they can make money. “I would like to establish control in Basilan and Jolo. In Lanao there’s a fight going on. Doon muna sila mag-duty. Basta ‘yung may mga kaso lahat (Everyone who faced charges will be sent there),” he said.

Abolish Napolcom

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile appealed to the nation to give the PNP leadership a chance to cleanse its ranks to make it more efficient.

Enrile, who served for 17 years as Defense Minister of the late President Marcos said the existence of bag eggs in the police force is a given, particularly when there are 150,000 PNP members “but I am not justifying what is going on but you have to be patient….give a chance to your law enforcement organization to cleanse its own organization.”

What should be erased from law books is the National Police Commission (Napolcom), a layer in the government bureaucracy “that was put up by Cory (the late President Corazon C. Aquino) in the 1987 Constitution that would handle the police force.”

Because of the existence of Napolcom, “the DILG secretary cannot move when he is supposed to be in charge of internal security of the country,” he added. Because of this, the national government is like the United Nations (UN) Security Council where a veto by one member stops any action by the world body.

“That is why these things are happening. The system is rotten,” Enrile explained.

Asked whether he supports the Duterte administration despite summary or extra judicial killings (EJKs), Enrile said he supports it as a citizen of the country “if they enforce the law otherwise what do we have? Anarchy.”

“The presumption is that they are enforcing the law. If you have concrete evidence to show that they are not enforcing the law. But if they are rogue (elements) that is something else,” he said.

“But until that is proven, you have to presume they are enforcing the law…they are abiding by the Constitution,’’ he added.

More drastic steps

Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV commended Dela Rosa for stopping their anti-illegal drugs operation to focus on cleansing their ranks.

“This is a step in the right direction for the PNP as it works on regaining the public trust after several controversial incidents involving bad elements within the organization,” Aquino said.

But House leaders are demanding “more drastic and swift” reforms.

“The abolition of the AIDG is a welcome move. And yes, there definitely is a pressing need for more drastic and swift reforms in the PNP,” Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia said.

AKO Bicol partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe also challenged the PNP leadership to double its efforts to cleanse its ranks. (With reports from Hannah L. Torregoza and Charissa M. Luci)

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

SAF tapped to go after rogue cops; DoJ chief suspends NBI’s anti-drug ops Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 04 February 2017 00:00 By Mario J. Mallari and Julius Leonen

Members of the police’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) and other specialized units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be among the pioneering personnel of the newly-activated Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) that has been set up to go after police scalawags as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“(They will) conduct tactical offensives against police scalawags,” PNP Director General Ronald de la Rosa yesterday told reporters.

Aside from the SAF, operatives of the PNP-Intelligence Group (IG) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) will also be tapped to operate under CITF.
“The CITF is composed of tactical units from SAF, counter-intelligence operatives from the IG and investigation teams coming from the CIDG,” he said.

He added a company of SAF commandos has already arrived to report to Senior Supt. Jose Chiquito Malayo.

By Monday, de la Rosa said the CITF may start entertaining complaints and start operating against rogue cops.

“Probably Monday, it will be launched and they can entertain complaints on information about rogue cops…I signed the memorandum yesterday (Thursday) so it’s ready for launching,” he stressed.

The drastic measures were taken following alleged involvement of some PNP and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officials in the kidnapping and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo. NBI halts war on drugs


Members of the police Special Action Force (SAF) stand in front of the Philippine Convention Center after a drill simulating the Paris-like attack at the venue of the APEC Summit in Manila, November 14, 2015.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, meanwhile, said the NBI will now focus its sights against criminality and corruption following a verbal directive from Mr. Duterte to desist from conducting anti-narcotics operations.

On Thursday, the President announced that he is barring the NBI from handling illegal drug cases, stressing that he has lost trust in the agency in enforcing his mandate to eradicate narcotics trade.

In a one-page memorandum issued yesterday, Aguirre ordered an indefinite suspension for the NBI from carrying out anti-illegal drug operations in the country.
The Justice secretary said the memorandum shall take effect immediately and shall remain in force until revoked.

“In compliance with the earlier pronouncement of President Duterte, I have signed Memorandum Circular No.005, placing Department Order No. 554, dated August 25, 2016, in a state of indefinite suspension,” Aguirre said.

“Consequently, the authority of the NBI to investigate and to conduct case build-up of cases falling under Republic Act No. 9165 otherwise known as ‘Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002’ is held in abeyance until further notice,” he added.

WAGING WAR VS CORRUPTION, CRIMINALITY

Following the order to restrain itself from conducting anti-illegal drug operations, Aguirre revealed that the DoJ and the NBI will now focus their resources in putting a stop to corruption and criminality.

“The DoJ and the NBI will now focus their energy and resources in waging war against corruption and in waging war against criminality,” Aguirre said.
Part of the job

Relatedly, NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin said the agency respects Mr. Duterte’s directive to suspend their anti-narcotics functions, suggesting profession-alism when he said the President’s order is only a part of the job.

“We respect the statement of the President. That’s the order, so we have to abide with the order,” he told reporters in a chance interview yesterday.

Lavin maintained that while Mr. Duterte had barred the NBI from conducting anti-illegal drug operations despite the fact that the agency recently bagged the biggest drug bust in the country, the NBI’s morale remains high.

The NBI held a unity mass inside its headquarters yesterday in support of NBI Director Dante Gierran and other NBI officials amid the kidnap-scandal that has rocked the agency.

“(The morale) is very high. We just had a mass for unity and solidarity, so this is a call for support. That’s part of the job. We’re not disappointed. We have to continue with our work,” Lavin said.

Jee was kidnapped last Oct. 18 allegedly by the group of SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel at the victim’s residence in Angeles City. The foreigner was subsequently brought to Camp Crame where he was allegedly strangled to death by Sta. Isabel.

Also implicated in the case were Sta. Isabel’s immediate supervisor Supt. Raphael Dumlao, SPO4 Roy Villegas and PO2 Christopher Baldovino.

Duterte publicly admitted that he was embarrassed by the incident and apologized to the South Korean government.


PHILSTAR

As part of cleansing program, Probe ordered on ‘pay per kill’ By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 3, 2017 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


NEW POLICE RECRUITS take their oath during a ceremony at Camp Florendo in San Fernando City, La Union on Tuesday. JUN ELIAS

I will kill more – Rody

MANILA, Philippines - Reports that policemen were given incentives for every drug suspect killed would be probed as part of the cleansing process of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Malacañang said yesterday.

“It’s part of the cleansing operation. It’s being looked into,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

“Definitely the President is concerned about what’s happening and has actually responded, as you can very well see,” he added.

Abella cited the President’s decision to suspend the PNP’s anti-illegal drug operations following the death of a South Korean businessman at the hands of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG).

“The President’s anti-drug war does not condone extrajudicial killings and the President is clear that he is after criminals,” Abella said.

“Again, let me just say, criminal cops are not government. Their illegal acts do not represent the police institution whose duty is to ensure the protection and security of civilians.”

READ MORE...

In Davao City, President Duterte yesterday vowed “to kill more” if he has to rid the country of illegal drugs.

Duterte told a gathering of water executives that he will not ease up on his fight against illegal drugs.

The President, however, lamented how the fight against illegal drugs has been affected by corruption in the PNP and even in the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), both lead agencies in the war on drugs.

DUTERTE: I CANNOT TRUST, PNP AND NBI STILL MANY WARS TO FIGHT

“I cannot trust the police, because it is corrupt, I cannot trust the NBI because it is corrupt. I have very limited warm bodies but very many wars to fight,” Duterte told the representatives of water districts all over the country in a national conference at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

Earlier, Amnesty International (AI) said the PNP acted on instructions “from the very top of government” and have killed thousands of suspected drug offenders. The group said the policemen even paid others to execute the drug offenders.

Amnesty International also accused the PNP of “systematically” targeting poor and defenseless people, planting evidence, recruiting paid killers, stealing from their victims and fabricating incident reports.

“Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police,” the group said.

The policemen were incited by the rhetoric of President Duterte, who has repeatedly threatened to kill drug lords, it added.

Abella admitted that some rogue cops may have used Duterte’s statements of support to the PNP as a cover for their wrongdoings.

“Some of these ‘scalawags’ may have taken that as a form of cover in order to engage in those operations,” he said.

“The President has repeatedly said that the drug apparatus has to be destroyed, that’s why he frames it in terms of war.”

Abella also noted the Philippines has been ranked “partly free” by the Freedom in the World report, the same classification it has been in the previous years.

“Although there was a slight dip due to human rights violations of varying scale with impunity,” he said.

Abella said the report should have been weighed in terms of the public’s trust and satisfaction over the President’s anti-crime campaign that created a better peace and order situation in the country.

He said the report was partially funded by the US State Department, which is the target of Duterte’s criticisms.

Abella said the Freedom report has partially attributed the ranking to Duterte’s policy of alleged extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and addicts.

“Such conclusion is really far from the truth,” he said.

Abella reiterated Duterte’s anti-drug war does not condone extrajudicial killings and the President made it clear that he is after criminals.

“The campaign against illegal drugs has yielded more than a million drug personalities, some of whom have already surrendered while some admit themselves to the rehab programs,” he added.

Inquiry urged Lawmakers have called for an inquiry into the reports made by Amnesty International of policemen being paid for killing suspected drug offenders.

“These are serious allegations coming from an international body that should be looked into in order to determine if there is basis to the claims,” Sen. Francis Escudero said.

Escudero said that the inquiry would also allow the PNP to air its side on the issue and even confront the AI on the allegations it made regarding the police.

According to AI, they were informed that policemen were given an incentive of P8,000 to P12,000 for each kill they made on drug personalities.

“If the claims are true then I will even support them (AI) but if they turn out to be false, they should not be allowed to just destroy the image of a country and then just make a retraction,” he said.

Based on the account of AI in its report, Escudero said the PNP officials who supposedly ordered the killings could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

He added there is no legal justification for the use of public funds to finance the killing of people, so if the allegations made by AI are true, then the use of funds for the operations were definitely illegal.

AI REPORT DISCONCERTING

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. described the AI report as “disconcerting.”

He said Congress should scrutinize the allegations against the PNP.

“The AI report validates our assertion that the tactics and strategies of this administration on the drug war are faulty. They are premised on disregard for the rule of law, due process and human rights. And this has led to police corruption and state-sponsored or condoned killing,” Baguilat said.

Some police officials disputed the AI report.

“The report is all allegations. It’s easy to concoct that,” said Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.

Albayalde though ordered an investigation to determine the veracity of the AI report.

Albayalde also urged the AI to bring forward their witnesses.

“We could start our investigation into their claims as soon as possible,” he said.

Supt. Jackie Candelario, deputy director of the Pangasinan provincial police, also took exception to the report of AI.

“There’s nothing of that sort, that we can say as far as Pangasinan police are concerned,” Candelario said.

Candelario, however, lamented the involvement of high ranking PNP officials in several controversial cases, particularly in the killing of a South Korean businessman right inside the national police headquarters.

“It’s really saddening that there are police scalawags. We condemn our fellow policemen for destroying the good image of the Philippine National Police,” Candelario said.

“We take this as a challenge, how to rise again after this incident,” he said. – With Christina Mendez, Marvin Sy, Non Alquitran, Eva Visperas, Edith Regalado, Roel Pareño, Artemio Dumlao

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

4 NBI execs sacked over Korean’s kidnap-slay By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 3, 2017 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Four top officials of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have been relieved after they were implicated in the kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in October last year. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Four top officials of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have been relieved after they were implicated in the kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in October last year.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the four NBI officials – deputy director for investigation services Jose Yap, National Capital Region (NCR) director Ricardo Diaz, head agent Darwin Lising and Task Force against illegal drugs head Roel Bolivar – were reassigned to different units.

Supt. Rafael Dumlao, the alleged mastermind of the Jee kidnap-slay, implicated the four NBI officials.

Yap was reassigned as officer-in-charge of the bureau’s information and communications technology division and was replaced by deputy director for intelligence Vicente de Guzman III.

Diaz was recalled to his mother unit, the NBI regional operations service and was replaced by assistant regional director Rommel Vallejo.

Lising, on the other hand, was assigned to Bicol while Bolivar was reassigned to the office of the director and was replaced by his deputy Jonathan Galicia.

DUMLAO TAGGED AS BRAINS

Dumlao has been tagged as the brains behind Jee’s kidnap-slay based on testimonies of fellow policemen Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel and NBI striker Jerry Omlang.

The reshuffle came after NBI director Dante Gierran met with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa last Wednesday at the office of Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

The NBI and PNP have agreed to conduct a joint investigation of Jee’s kidnapping and killing.

For the police, the team leader will be Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, head of PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG), while the NBI team will be under assistant director Medardo Delemos.

DOJ RE-INVESTIGATES KOREAN SLAY

The Department of Justice is set to conduct a reinvestigation on the kidnap-slay case in a hearing this afternoon.

Glenn Dumlao, who is not related to suspect Rafael Dumlao, said that the alleged mastermind of the Jee killing warned investigators that the group that kidnapped the Korean is a big gang.

Senior Supt. Dumlao said there is a possibility that a syndicate was behind the killing of Jee, who was kidnapped from his house in Angeles City, Pampanga but was reportedly killed inside a parked vehicle in PNP headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

He assured Rafael Dumlao that he would help him if he cooperates in the investigation.

But Rafael Dumlao told him, “Hindi nyo sila kaya (you cannot stop them).”

“I told him if you keep on fearing them, you would suffer alone, yung mga kasama mo nasa labas (your cohorts are free outside). Ibangon mo ang imahe ng (Raise up the image of the) PNP,” Senior Supt. Dumlao told Rafael Dumlao.

The AKG chief told Rafael Dumlao that President Duterte, PNP chief Dela Rosa and NBI’s Gierran would make sure all the people behind the killing of Jee would be prosecuted and convicted.

He refused to give more details on the claims of Rafael Dumlao, whose statement has yet to be sworn to before a prosecutor.

The AKG chief said the PNP and the NBI are now working together to ensure the conviction of the people behind the killing of Jee.

He said of the statements gathered by the AKG from Sta. Isabel, Rafael Dumlao, Jee’s housemaid Marissa Dawis and Omlang, only the statement of Sta. Isabel did not jibe with that of the others.

Although not yet admitted as formal evidence, the statement of Rafael Dumlao would help investigators pursue other angles in the killing of Jee, he said.

“It (Rafael Dumlao’s statement) is an eye opener that we have another venue for our investigation,” Glenn Dumlao added.

Meanwhile, sacked NBI official Diaz declined to talk to reporters after Rafael Dumlao said he knew about the kidnapping and death of Jee.

An NBI official said the bureau is still waiting for a document that will detail the parameters of the ongoing investigation.

Omlang, an NBI errand boy who served at the bureau’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division and allegedly became a driver of agent Lising, said Rafael Dumlao was the mastermind behind Jee’s kidnapping and killing.

Lising denied that Omlang was his driver, saying he could not afford to hire one.

Saying he has lost trust in the NBI, President Duterte included the agency in the ongoing purge of the corrupt and scalawags in government.

“As of now, there are no policemen (involved in drug operations) in the entire country… and I want to add, even the NBI bureau is suspended from enforcing drug laws. Kasali kayo, kasi nawala na akong tiwala sa inyo (You’re included because I have lost trust in you),” he said in a speech in Davao City yesterday.

DUTERTE EMPOWERS PDEA AND AFP VS ANTIDRUG OPERATIONS

Duterte reiterated that only the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) led by retired police general Isidro Lapeña and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are now empowered to conduct anti-drug operations.

He said he would declare drugs as a national security threat to enable him to use the military in pursuit of his vow to eradicate the apparatus of illegal drugs in the country.

“I still have to write the proclamation (or) an executive order but I have taken in AFP, and raise the issue of drugs as national security threat so I can call all the Armed Forces to assist,” the President said.

“In the meantime, there will be a cleansing, a purge inside Crame and the NBI,” Duterte added.

He again showed the audience the thick list of narco-politicians who have been identified as protectors of the drug trade. There are around 6,000 local officials, barangay captains, judges and cops in the order of battle.

Duterte spoke anew about his frustrations about corruption in the law enforcement branch and the proliferation of illegal drugs during his speech before the 38th national convention of the Philippine Association of Water Districts (PAWD) at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premiere, Davao City yesterday.

Duterte has ordered the suspension of Operation Tokhang operations under the PNP last weekend, asking the PDEA to take the lead role. The various drug units of the police were also directed not to conduct operations following the uproar on the killing of the Korean executive.

He also reminded director Gierran about the standards he set when he appointed him as NBI chief.

Angeles City cops charged

Authorities filed charges of kidnap-for-ransom and robbery against seven Angeles City policemen who have been relieved after the officers were accused of illegal detention and extortion of three Korean tourists last Dec. 30.

Those charged before the Prosecutor’s Office in Angeles City and San Fernando were former police station 5 head Chief Insp. Wendell Arinas, his deputy Senior Insp. Rolando Yutuc, Police Officer 3 Roentjen Domingo, PO2 Ruben Rodriguez, Jose Yumul, Rommel Manicdao, Richard King Agapito and PO1 Jayson Ibe and Mark Joseph Pineda. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Christina Mendez, Ghio Ong, Ding Cervantes, Emmanuel Tupas


PHILSTAR

Only select few from AFP to join drug war, Duterte says By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated February 1, 2017 - 11:14pm 4 49 googleplus0 0


In this Jan. 20, 2017 photo, riot police retreat to allow protesters to get closer to the US Embassy to protest the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, February 1, said the Philippine National Police has “lost its power” to enforce laws on illegal drugs, which he said some cops to commit wrongdoings. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Only a “select few” from the military would be involved in the anti-drug war, President Rodrigo Duterte said, as he criticized some policemen for supposedly using the narcotics crackdown to commit abuses.

Duterte said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has “lost its power” to enforce laws on illegal drugs and the only ones who can conduct such operations are Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives.

“They (PNP) have lost the power to enforce drug laws. Marami naimbentong kalokohan talaga pulis (These policemen have invented a lot of shenanigans),” the president said during the traditional dinner with Sergeant Majors in Malacañan.

“It’s only the Armed Forces selected few and the PDEA can operate now against drugs para walang — wala ng kalokohan (so there will be no more shenanigans),” he added.

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Duterte also lambasted some policemen who are involved in “pangikil” or extortion.

“Yawa, nabwisit ako (Devils, I got pissed off). Wala silang power. (They do not have power).”

On Tuesday, Duterte directed the military to arrest policemen involved in illegal drugs as he purges the PNP of scalawags.

RELATED: Duterte orders AFP to arrest rogue cops

Duterte admitted that his anti-drug campaign can be used by some policemen to commit wrongdoings.

“Let me reorganize the enforcement diyan sa drugs sa police (of laws against drugs by the police). In the meantime, they would be arrested and I will order you to arrest them,” he said during the oath taking of newly promoted generals in Malacañan.

PNP has suspended its anti-drug operations or Oplan Tokhang amid the fallout over the death of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in the hands of members of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG).

RELATED: Bato suspends drug war for 'internal cleansing' of PNP

PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa admitted that the murder of Jee has affected the credibility of Oplan Tokhang, which critics claimed was used to extort money.

Jee was kidnapped by AIDG personnel in Angeles, Pampanga on Oct. 18, 2016 and was said to have been strangled to death inside Camp Crame.

The kidnappers reportedly made it appear that the businessman was still alive and demanded P5 million ransom from his wife.

The incident prompted Duterte to order the abolition of all anti-drug units of the PNP. He also admitted that the culture of corruption among the police is “matindi” or serious.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Enlisting military for anti-drug operations ‘very dangerous’ – Ping 8 SHARES Share it! Published February 2, 2017, 12:08 AM by Hannah L. Torregoza

Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and now Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson yesterday warned President Duterte it would be “very dangerous” to enlist military personnel to perform anti-drug operations and go after scalawags in the police organization.

“I’ll stand up against it because it would be chaotic if the one that would check on the anomalies of policemen would be the military,” Lacson told reporters in a press briefing.

“We might end up having armed people – legitimate armed forces – who would be fighting each other. Remember, it’s not only the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which is armed, even the PNP is an armed force,” the senator said.

“It would be better if the national police itself conducts the internal cleansing against their scalawag members,” he said.

President Duterte had earlier said only the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and a select few from the AFP can conduct drug operations to avoid anymore scandals.

He declared this after dissolving all anti-illegal drugs groups of the PNP due to the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo.

According to Duterte, police officers around the country are no longer allowed to enforce laws related to the drug campaign.

READ MORE...

Sen. Leila de Lima also opposed the idea, saying the President has just exercised an emergency power of the commander-in-chief as provided for in the Constitution, calling out the AFP to suppress lawless violence, rebellion, or invasion.

De Lima said such plan cannot be invoked due to his own order suspending the PNP from conducting anti-drug operations.

“The problem here is that the President has wittingly drawn the military to his ‘Tokhang’ program, thus putting civil society in a bind of whether to choose the devil they know, of the PNP doing ‘Tokhang, or the devil they don’t know, the AFP implementing the same murderous Tokhang operations,” De Lima said.

LEGITIMACY OF DUTERTE'S DRUG PROGRAM

De Lima argued the real issue is the legitimacy of a government anti-drug program that sanctions killings and violations of human rights.

“The real problem is not the PNP or AFP per se, but the monstrous policy hatched in the bowels of Davao City and that gave rise to more than a thousand dead in that city and over 7,000 in the whole country. No pretext can change this root of the problem,” she said.

On the other hand, Lacson said the President’s assessment that 40 percent of the PNP are scalawags is “an overestimate” number and he himself “won’t believe that, won’t buy that.”

“It’s very dangerous. If I may again give an unsolicited advice, it would be to better rethink or reconsider the instruction of the President because that’s very dangerous,” he said.

“Unless there is really a huge breakdown in the discipline, say 90 percent of our police force are really scalawags, because who are you going to call to resolve the problem, the 10 percent?

“Definitely, the 10 percent would be hard put defeating the 90 percent but as I said, I wouldn’t believe that 40 percent of the PNP members are scalawags,” he said.

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves Jr. said the Chief Executive should be given a free hand to fully enforce the massive cleansing in the PNP.

“I don’t think he has completely lost trust in the PNP. But he is definitely realizing that some personalities in the organization are rogue and that these people will be detrimental to the success of his programs,” he said.


MANILA TIMES

PNP chief dares Amnesty International to file charges  BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT ON FEBRUARY 3, 2017 TOP STORIES


FEBRUARY 4 -Ronald M. Dela Rosa Police Director General PHOTO FROM PNP WEBSITE

THE head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday dared Amnesty International to file charges before the Ombudsman and substantiate claims police officers were paid to kill drug suspects.

Malacañang said the government would look into the report of the London-based human rights group, but insisted the PNP has no official policy allowing police and hired assassins to kill drug suspects.

PNP Chief Ronald de la Rosa claimed the report, in which an unnamed police officer admitted that anti-drug operatives were paid as much as P15,000 for every drug suspect killed, could be another demolition job against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The police force has no money to pay hired killers, he pointed out.

“Bring that person out in the open. File a complaint. Bring that person to the Ombudsman to clear things up,” de la Rosa said.

PNP spokesman Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos said: “We take strong exception to opinions raised in the latest report of Amnesty International which claims that police plant evidence, take under-the-table cash, fabricate reports, and paid killers on police payroll.”

READ MORE...

Carlos said 4,744 murders under investigation have been incorrectly referred to by local and foreign observers as “extrajudicial killings.” But 3,459 have been determined to be non-drug-related incidents, he said.

Carlos said 662 cases were motivated by personal grudge, 15 were related to property disputes, 16 were crimes of passion, 10 were brought about by “rido” or family feuds, 11 were work-related and two involved atrocities committed by “threat groups.”

There were 1,285 incidents that had something to do with the victim’s association with drug activities, he said.
“We have made significant breakthrough in the investigation of these murders with the arrest of 694 suspects and the identification of 467 others who are believed responsible in 1,212 reported deaths. Criminal charges have been filed before the Courts,” he added.

‘Coal to Newcastle’

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said an internal investigating body in the PNP will conduct the probe, but said the human rights watchdog should be cautious in making claims because they might cast a negative image on the police force.

“When we referred to the PNP, there was no official policy regarding that…The government is pursuing internal cleansing, internal investigation. So whatever they say is simply [carrying]coal to Newcastle,” Abella said, using an expression that refers to a pointless or superfluous activity.

In its report released on Wednesday, Amnesty International said its investigation into Duterte’s war on drugs found “systematic, planned and organized” killings by authorities and could constitute crimes against humanity.
Most deaths appeared to be extrajudicial killings, with police accounts of shootouts and deaths during operations “startlingly similar” and often far different from witness testimonies.

Abella said “criminal cops are not government.”

“Their illegal acts do not represent the police institution whose duty is to ensure the protection and security of civilians,” Abella said.

Dubbed as one of the most corrupt institutions in the country, the PNP has been hounded by a series of controversies following the death of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo inside Camp Crame, the PNP’s headquarters in Quezon City.

Police have been accused of using the government’s war on drugs as a cover to commit murder, extortion, and robbery.

Asked why the death of around 7, 000 suspected drug offenders did not merit the suspension of the anti-drug campaign, Abella said: “They did not happen within the camp, right?”

“The unique situation regarding that [South Korean’s] death merits attention,” the Palace official said. FERNAN MARASIGAN

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Yellow senators insist on AI report probe Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 04 February 2017 00:00 By Angie M. Rosales, Mario Mallari
and Julius Leonen

Following the outright rejection of Sen. Richard Gordon to have the Senate look into the Amnesty International (AI) report, some senators aligned with the Liberal Party have closed ranks and supported the planned move of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero to file a resolution and pave the way for the conduct of an investigation in the Senate.

Minority Leader Ralph Recto shared the position of Escudero, a member of the three-man minority bloc, to ascertain the truth behind the charges of kill-for-pay police considering the seriousness and the implication of the allegations on the Duterte government’s war on drugs.

“It is important for the Senate to look into the report and invite their representatives as resource persons. There are many other resource persons the Senate can call to testify. It will give the PNP the chance to refute the report,” Recto said.

Gordon has already refused to investigate the AI report, saying that it’s baseless and hearsay but Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Leila de Lima believe otherwise.

“Any Senate inquiry that will sincerely help the people in their search for the truth is welcome. The AI report is a very serious matter. It deserves the government’s utmost serious attention,” Sen. Hontiveros said in a text message to reporters.

De Lima, who earlier had called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to step into the picture, reiterated her support to Escudero’s move and criticized Gordon for citing the need to present proof first.

 DE LIMA REBUKES GORDON

The neophyte senator even rebuked Gordon saying that the conduct of a Senate inquiry is precisely to investigate and establish the facts.

She claimed she went over the AI report and saw enough good leads or a further, deeper probe. “Accounts of witnesses to a number of EJKs (extrajudicial killings) embodied in that report are very credible and verifiable through an honest-to-goodness thorough probe. Actual incidents are cited with dates and names of victims and/or witnesses. So, what more do we need from AI?”de Lima said.

President Duterte’s staunch supporter in the upper chamber, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano defended anew the administration saying that the war on drugs is not a war to kill criminals “but a war to fight for the lives of all Filipinos.”

“President Duterte is being portrayed in the international community as a ‘violent’ man. But a violent man does not want peace for anyone,” he said in a statement Friday.

He compared rogue cops to corrupt personnel in tax agencies saying that there may be weaknesses in the systems which pave for the commission of abuses but the important thing is that the cleansing in the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is ongoing.

“When tax collecting agencies become rigged with corruption, we did not tell them to stop collecting taxes, but we cleansed the agencies,” he said.

‘Bato’ pummeled by senators for push ups



At the same time, even as Philippine National Police (PNP) director-general Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa was being pummeled by the senators for his “punishment” of erring policemen with push ups.

Dela Rosa also reacted to the claim of Supt. Rafael Dumlao, who has been tagged in the Jee Ick Joo’s kidnap for ransom with murder by alleged killer, told Sr, Supt. Glen Dumlao that the PNP is no match against the group behind the kidnap-slaying of the South Korean.

Rafael Dumlao was quoted by Glen Dumalo as saying that the kidnap for ransom and murders is controlled by a powerful syndicate which the government cannot match.
Dela Rosa said: “Bring it on! As I’ve said whatever they like for the interest of justice, I am willing to die any time,” said Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa hinted that Dumlao might be referring to ranking officials of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“Maybe those big officials of the NBI he implicated, maybe that’s what he is afraid of. Me? I am not afraid,” dela Rosa stressed.

Dela Rosa said that the PNP-Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) is closely working with the NBI to dig deeper into the case which already prompted President Duterte to disallow both the PNP and the NBI in conducting anti-illegal drugs operation in a joint probe.

“The picture is getting clearer and hopefully the truth will really come out soon…we are now closely working with the NBI,” said dela Rosa.

Rafael Dumlao was the team leader of SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, who allegedly abducted Jee at his residence and was killed in Camp Crame whereJee was allegedly strangled to death and later taken to Gream Funeral Services in Caloocan City where he was cremated and flushed down the toilet.

Yesterday, Glen Dumlao said that the other Dumlao continued to receive threats through his cellular phone.

“Up to now he is being threatened…for our part, we give importance to all information that may lead to the resolution of this case including those being said by Superintendent Dumlao,” the PNP-AKG director said.

The AKG director also echoed dela Rosa’s statement, saying “there is no one the PNP cannot go against if we are in the right side. We enforce the law no matter what. We don’t fear anyone.”

Leila wants Glen Dumlao out of probe

Senator de Lima yesterday on called on Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao to disengage from the investigation of the kidnap-slay case of Korean businessman Jee and allow other units, possibly the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the PNP to be tapped insted.

De Lima raised the issue on possible involvement of Glen Dumlao, chief of the PNP-AKG, with the alleged perpetrators citing the insinuations of the wife of SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, once considered as the principal suspect.

The senator cited reports that Glen Dumlao was mentioned by Sta. Isabel’s wife Jinky as supposedly in the company of the alleged mastermind, Rafael Dumlao and a certain Col. Allan Macapagal, in a meeting with her husband.

This was long before Sta. Isabel was charged on the case and issued an arrest warrant by the PNP.

The senator expressed her reservations on the continuing involvement of Dumlao in the probe.

“Let’s ask him ( Sta. Isabel) first whether it’s true that he (Glen), along with Supt. Rafael Dumlao and Col. Macapagal met with Mrs. Sta. Isabel and their lawyer last January 13 between 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Camp Crame tennis court near Landbank,” she said in a text message to reporters.

“If so, what was the meeting all about? What exactly was discussed? Why would the two AKG officials (Glenn and Macapagal) who were supposedly doing a probe regarding Jee’s case, be meeting with the camp of SPO3 Sta. Isabel, the then principal suspect?” she further asked.

“Absent a satisfactory explanation, it would be best if he recuses himself from the reinvestigation of the case and for that matter, AKG should be divested of its role in such reinvestigation and transfer the same to more appropriate unit, say CIDG,” she said.

No NBI agent, striker Omlang insists

Jerry Omlang, an errand boy at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters who allegedly took part in the abduction and murder of the South Korean businessman insisted that no NBI agent was involved in the kidnap-slay scandal.

Contrary to Police Supt. Rafael Dumlao’s allegations that NBI personnel was involved in the Korean national’s murder, Omlang told reporters yesterday that since he was among those who took part in the Korean’s abduction, he knows that Dumlao’s claims are false.

The DoJ yesterday commenced its reinvestigation into charges of kidnap for ransom with homicide against several police officers and four others in connection with the Korean national’s murder.

All respondents, complainants and witnesses were present in yesterday’s hearing, except for Dumlao who was absent even when he was near the vicinity of the DoJ at the time of the reinvestigation.

According to his counsel, lawyer Ricardo Moldez II, Dumlao refused to appear before the reinvestigation, citing security reasons.

Dumlao alleged in a television interview with ABS-CBN that NBI personnel under former NBI NCR Director Ricardo Diaz, who was sacked and reassigned following Dumlao’s claims, were involved in the disappearance and killing of the Korean national.

“Dumlao is saying that there are NBI agents involved, but no. There are no NBI agents in this case,” Omlang said. “From what I know, it is Dumlao who is the mastermind,” he added.

Lawyer Restituto Mendoza, legal counsel for retired cop Gerardo “Ding” Santiago, owner of funeral parlor where the Korean national was brought, bared that Santiago is ready to tell everything he knows in the kidnap-slay.

“Santiago has submitted a hard disk containing CCTV footage covering the Gream Funeral Services. He has surrendered it to the NBI, along with all evidence in his possession,” Mendoza said.

“He will be cooperative with prosecutors. He has also applied for the WPP because he will be cooperating,” Mendoza added.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Olivia Torrevillas, the DoJ prosecutors leading the reinvestigation, have given the NBI and the Philippine National Police five working days to submit all documents and pleadings pertaining to the case.

The prosecutors also issued the deadline for the investigating teams to file additional charges against the respondents in the kidnap-slay fiasco.

The next hearing for the reinvestigation has been scheduled on February 16 at 2 p.m. at the DoJ Multipurpose Hall, where the respondents are expected to file their counter-affidavits in the kidnap-slay case.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, however, said that the DoJ will accomplish the reinvestigation within only 30 days, half of the allotted time provided by the court.

Sacked NBI official hopes for vindication

Following an overhaul at the NBI, a top NBI official who was recently sacked from his post and eventually reassigned hopes that he would be absolved after Rafael Dumlao tagged his men in the kidnap-slay scandal.

Former NBI National Capital Region (NBI-NCR) Director Ricardo Diaz, whose men were allegedly involved in the disappearance and killing of Korean national Jee Ick Joo, said that he is confident that he will be cleared from the controversy.

Four NBI officials have been relieved and reassigned from their posts while three have been promoted in the overhaul.

“We were temporarily relieved from our positions to give way to the investigation of the NBI-PNP joint team. We welcome the move,” Diaz said.

“We know we will be vindicated and the truth will prevail over the lies of Supt. Rafael Dumlao. Aside from being hearsay, it has no factual basis whatsoever. This is just a part of working as a public servant,” he said.


PHILSTAR

Anti-drug cops paid per kill – AI report By Elizabeth Marcelo and Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 2, 2017 - 12:00am 2 14 googleplus0 2


Wilnor Papa and Sr. Maria Vida Cordero of Amnesty International condemn the killings of poor people during a press conference in Quezon City yesterday. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine police, “acting on instructions from the very top of government,” gunned down and enlisted others to kill thousands of alleged drug offenders in a wave of extrajudicial executions that may amount to crimes against humanity, Amnesty International (AI) said in a report released yesterday.

AI’s investigation – “If you are poor you are killed”: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines’ “War on Drugs” – details how police “have systematically targeted mostly poor and defenseless people” across the country while planting “evidence,” recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports.

Quoting a police officer involved in the war on drugs, AI reported that police received from P8,000 to P15,000 as incentive for every drug personality they killed.

This was denied by officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP). President Duterte and other government officials have also consistently denied condoning extrajudicial killings, insisting that all the drug suspects killed in legitimate law enforcement operations had resisted arrest or fought it out – nanlaban.

READ MORE...

AI Philippines called on the Senate to reopen its investigation into extrajudicial killings following the group’s findings.

The Senate committees that conducted the investigation last year said there was no evidence to prove that extrajudicial killings in the course of the drug war were state-sponsored.

For its part, the Archdiocese of Manila said it was pursuing its campaign against extrajudicial killings in the country despite the suspension of the PNP’s anti-drug campaign.

CHURCH SPOKESMAN

Fr. Atiliano Fajardo, head of the archdiocese’s public affairs ministry, revealed that they would hold the “Huwag Kang Magnakaw ng Buhay” (Do Not Steal Life) movement as part of the Church’s stance against killings of drug suspects and the proposed restoration of the death penalty.

In a press conference in Quezon City yesterday, AI Philippines trustee Sister Maria Vida Cordero and AI Philippines campaigner Wilnor Papa presented to the media the AI’s 66-page report, stating that “this is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor.”

“Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,” said Tirana Hassan, AI’s Crisis Response director.

What is happening in the Philippines is a crisis the entire world should be alarmed about, Hassan said, as AI called on government officials, from Duterte down, to order an immediate halt to all extrajudicial executions.

“We are also calling on the… Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute anyone involved in these killings, regardless of their rank or status in the police or government,” Hassan said.

“The Philippines should move away from lawlessness and lethal violence and reorient its drug policies towards a model based on the protection of health and human rights,” she added.

The AI said its team of researchers interviewed 110 people across the country, including some policemen, and documented 33 cases of drug-related killings, of which 20 occurred in police operations and 13 involved unknown armed men. A total of 59 people were killed in these operations, the report said.

“We want the Senate to reopen its investigation (on EJKs), instead of prioritizing the death penalty bill. Unless we end this culture of impunity, these senseless killings, these crimes against humanity will continue,” Papa said.

AI said the Philippines is a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and must abide by international rules.

“We want the Philippine authorities to deal with this human rights crisis on their own. But if decisive action is not taken soon, the international community should turn to the prosecutor of the (ICC) to carry out a preliminary examination into these killings, including the involvement of officials at the very top of government,” AI said.

“Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the deliberate, widespread and systematic killings of alleged drug offenders, which appear to be planned and organized by the authorities, may constitute crimes against humanity under international law,” it added.

In cash

One of those interviewed by the AI team for the report was a police officer with the rank of senior police officer 1 (SPO1) who has been in service for almost a decade.

The police officer, who claimed to have been part of an anti-drug unit in Metro Manila, said policemen usually receive financial incentives for every drug suspect or personality killed during the “encounter.”

“We always get paid by the encounter... The amount ranges from P8,000 to P15,000... That amount is per head. So if the operation is against four people, that’s P32,000,” the police officer was quoted as saying in the report.

The police officer said the source of the money was never revealed to them, but the cash was usually given at their headquarters.

“We’re paid in cash, secretly, by headquarters... There (are) no incentives for arresting. We’re not paid anything,” the police officer said, as quoted in the report. “It never happens that there’s a shootout and no one is killed.”

The police officer told the AI team that some of his colleagues also established a racket with funeral homes, which reward them for each dead body sent their way.

The AI said witnesses told the researchers that several policemen also stole from victims’ homes.

The AI report said two hired killers confessed to the team that they took orders from a police officer who supposedly paid them P5,000 for each drug user and P10,000 to P15,000 for each drug pusher killed, respectively.

“The targets often come from unverified lists of people suspected to use or sell drugs drawn up by local government officials. Regardless of how long ago someone may have taken drugs, or how little they used or sold, they can find their name irrevocably added to the lists,” the report read.

“In other cases, their names could be added arbitrarily, because of a vendetta or because there are incentives to kill greater numbers of people deemed drug users or sellers,” it added.

The AI said several residents as well as family members of the victims also narrated how policemen planted evidence against their slain targets.

“Fabricating their subsequent incident reports, the police have routinely claimed that they had been fired upon first. Directly contradicting the police’s claims, witnesses told Amnesty International how the police conducted late night raids, did not attempt an arrest and opened fire on unarmed persons,” the AI said.

“In some cases, witnesses said, the police planted drugs and weapons they later claimed as evidence,” it added.

Papa said these findings call for the reopening of the investigation on EJKs to show the administration’s sincerity in cleansing the police ranks.

AI said these extrajudicial killings were incited by the rhetoric of Duterte, who vowed to protect the police officers who would get to kill drug suspects in the course of the operations against the illegal drug trade.

Since Duterte came to office seven months ago, there have been more than 7,000 drug-related killings, with the police directly killing at least 2,500 alleged drug offenders, AI noted.

The AI cited cases wherein suspects pleaded for mercy and surrendered but were still killed. Their bodies were also dragged and dumped or dehumanized, AI said.

Fajardo, meanwhile, said their new movement would like to emphasize that “life is sacred and only God can take it away.”

In an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas, the priest revealed that the campaign is a follow-up to their earlier advocacy campaigns “Huwag Kang Magnakaw” (Do Not Steal) and “Huwag Kang Pumatay” (Do Not Kill).

“We saw in the past few months how lives have been stolen. This happened without sanction of law because there’s no due process,” he lamented.

“We will ask the Church and the schools to show that they believe in the sacredness of life and that it cannot be stolen,” he stressed.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

PNP, solons slam Amnesty charges of cop killings posted February 02, 2017 at 12:01 am by AFP


FEBRUARY 2 -PATHETICALLY HELPLESS. This picture taken on Jan. 18, 2017, shows a body of an alleged drug user on the ground after an unidentified gunman shot him dead in Manila. Philippine police may have committed crimes against humanity by killing thousands of alleged drug offenders or paying others to murder as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war, Amnesty International said Feb. 1, 2017. An Amnesty report, which followed an in-depth investigation into the drug war, also outlined what it said were other widespread police crimes apart from extrajudicial killings. AFP


PHILIPPINE police may have committed crimes against humanity by killing thousands of alleged drug offenders or paying others to murder as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

The Philippine National Police and top lawmakers strongly disputed the human rights movement’s claim, saying the killings were “obviously not the norm” and the assertions were based on “loose talks.”

An Amnesty report, which followed an in-depth investigation into the drug war, also outlined what it said were other widespread police crimes aside from extrajudicial killings that mainly targeted the poor.

“Acting on orders from the very top, policemen and unknown killers have been targeting anybody remotely suspected of using or selling drugs,” Rawya Rageh, a senior crisis adviser for Amnesty, told AFP.

“Our investigation shows that this wave of extrajudicial killings has been widespread, deliberate and systematic, and therefore may amount to crimes against humanity.”

Among a litany of alleged crimes, Amnesty accused police of shooting dead defenseless people, fabricating evidence, paying assassins to murder drug addicts, and stealing from those they killed or the victims’ relatives.

It also said police were being paid by their superiors to kill, and documented victims as young as eight years old.

In a press conference, Wilson Papa of Amnesty Philippines said several police officers sanctioned the killings “to the extent they would give ‘cash incentives’ to vigilantes to kill a drug user for P5,000, and a pusher from P10,000 to P15,000.”

“There have been direct links between paid killers and state authorities,” Papa told Manila Standard.

The police “are behaving like the criminal underworld that they are supposed to be enforcing the law against,” the Amnesty International report said.

Duterte won the presidential elections last year after promising during the campaign to eradicate drugs in society within six months by killing tens of thousands of people.

However, PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the deaths were not the norm, “despite a higher number of police operations that have resulted in inevitable fatal encounters with criminal elements lately.”

Philippine police have always observed and upheld human rights “as a fundamental principle in policing,” Carlos said.

But the police “cannot help being typecast as alleged violators of human rights, partly because of the basic nature of its law enforcement function that constantly places [the policeman] in cross-swords engagement or armed contact with criminal elements,” the PNP spokesman added.

‘Loose talks, not their business’


NEWS BRIEF FROM THE INQUIRER: Lacson to Amnesty International: Show proof to back report. On February 01, 2017 International human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) must present evidence to support its report that the Duterte administration has ordered and even paid some police to kill alleged drug suspects, otherwise, such claim would remain a “rumor” or just “loose talks,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Wednesday.

In Congress, Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former national police chief, dismissed Amnesty’s claims, but stressed he was not defending the Duterte administration.

“There were loose talks but that’s just about it. I don’t know where AI got their information,” Lacson said.

The senator said accusing the police “is one thing, proving it is another thing. There should be evidence. Unless [Amnesty] can present evidence, it will just remain loose talk or rumor.”

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a close ally of the President, was more direct in attacking Amnesty.

“Why meddle with us?” Alvarez said. “They are not the ones having the problem, we are the ones having the problem. What business do they have here? We are a sovereign country.”


HOUSE REACTION Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says that if President Duterte thinks the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is really necessary according to his own discernment of the problem, the option’s up to him. —Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday slammed the Amnesty International report for meddling in the country’s affairs. Alvarez made the statement in a press conference about Amnesty’s report finding the police as behind the spate of vigilante killings by paying hired assassins to kill suspected drug criminals. “Bakit ba sila nakikialam sa atin? Hindi naman sila yung may problema, tayo ang may problema?” Alvarez said in a press conference at the House of Representatives.(Why are they meddling in our affairs? They are not the ones beset with the problem, we are. Why are they interfering?) Alvarez said the international human rights watchdog should not be meddling in the country’s affairs because the Philippines is a sovereign nation. “We are a sovereign country. They are not the ones suffering because of all these crimes. Huwag sila makialam, kasi tayo yung apektado, hindi naman sila (They should not interfere, because it is us who are affected, not them). They are far away from us,” he added. INQUIRER FILE

Alvarez, who recently called for PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to resign after the recent abduction and killing of Korean Jee Ick Joo over supposed drug links, said Amnesty “are not the ones suffering because of all these crimes.”

“They must not meddle because they are not affected by these. They are far away from us,” the Speaker said.

Lacson said until Amnesty shows evidence to back its claims, Congress could not exercise its oversight function over the police.

“We have the obligation to our countrymen to stand up also, and ask for the necessary evidence to prove [Amnesty’s allegations]. If there are evidences, that is the time we should take action as a people.

DE LIMA

Senator Leila de Lima, who opposes Duterte, said she “always thought” the Amnesty report “was the reality,” reason why she objected the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“It’s clear to me the police are behind the killings, or their agents or their assets. Probably paid or not [to kill drug suspects],” De Lima said. “I’ve known that all this time because we also got this information [that Amnesty has]. I wanted it to be pinpointed in the EJK [extrajudicial killings] hearings, which unfortunately were terminated.”

‘Murderous war on poor’

On one occasion, Duterte vowed that 100,000 people would be killed and so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that the fish there would grow fat from feeding on them.

Duterte launched his crackdown immediately upon taking office seven months ago. Since then, police have reported killing 2,555 people, while nearly 4,000 others have died in unexplained circumstances, according to official figures.

PNP spokesman Carlos said the latest figures were 4,744 murders under investigation “that both local and foreign observers wrongfully refer to as ‘extrajudicial killings,’ with 3,459 determined to be “non-drug-related incidents.”

Only 1,285 of these incidents “had something to do with the victim’s association with drug activities,” added Carlos. He claimed “significant breakthroughs” in investigating the killings with the arrest of 694 suspects and the identification of 467 others believed involved in 1,212 deaths, with criminal cases filed in the courts.

The PNP and every law enforcement agency in the world have different methods and systems of reporting crime data, the police spokesman said.

“I guess we are just more transparent and liberal in reporting ours, such that we are more prone to deeper scrutiny, especially by foreign observers who have very little understanding of the peculiarities and dynamics of the crime and drug situation in the Philippines,” Carlos added.

However, the Amnesty report said Duterte had incited the police to carry out a murderous war on the poor, and warned that the International Criminal Court would need to start investigating unless Philippine authorities did not stop it soon.

“The police killings are driven by pressures from the top, including an order to ‘neutralize’ alleged drug offenders, as well as financial incentives. They have created an informal economy of death,” the report said.

Amnesty said it investigated the deaths of 59 people, and found most them were extrajudicial killings.

As president, Duterte has repeatedly urged police to kill drug users as well as traffickers. He said in December he had personally killed people when he was mayor of Davao City to set an example for police.

Three months earlier, the President he said he would be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts, and likened his campaign to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s efforts to exterminate Jews in Europe.

‘I will surrender, sir’

In several cases, witnesses to killings or victims’ relatives told Amnesty that the person shot dead was unarmed and had not resisted arrest. Police also planted drugs and weapons that they later “seized” as evidence, Amnesty said.

“I will surrender, I will surrender, sir,” Gener Rondina, 38, told police after they broke into his home in the central city of Cebu, a witness told Amnesty.

Rondina then knelt and raised his arms behind his head but police then shot him dead, Amnesty said, citing the witness.

When family members were allowed into the house six hours after Gener was shot, valuables including a laptop, watch and money were missing, according to Amnesty.

Police alleged Rondina had a gun and they acted in self-defense, and the method of killing as well as the justification was typical of the drug war, Amnesty said.

Amnesty also warned that the lists of drug suspects that police were using to target people were deeply flawed.

This was partly because many people were placed on the lists simply after being reported by fellow community members, without any further investigation, according to Amnesty.

Duterte had until this week been unrepentant in response to criticism of his drug war and the police, insisting he was acting within the law but that extreme measures must be taken to stop the Philippines from becoming a narco state.

After a series of scandals emerged over the past month in which police were caught committing murder, kidnapping, extortion and robbery, Duterte this week ordered them to stop all activities related to the drug war.

He described the police force as “corrupt to the core” and vowed to cleanse it. But he also vowed the drug war would continue until the last day of his term, in 2022.

He said police would return to the drug war after he reorganized the force and, in the meantime, the military would become more involved. With Francisco Tuyay, Macon Ramos-Araneta and Rio N. Araja

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RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

Church, EJK victims’ kin denounce killings By Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 3, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Relatives hold photos of victims of extrajudicial killings as they pose with priests following a mass at the Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Malabon yesterday. MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

MANILA, Philippines - In prayers and in tears, sur­vivors and relatives of victims of extrajudicial killings joined Church officials yesterday in denouncing the wanton killing of poor people suspected of dealing in illegal drugs in a mass at the Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Malabon City.

Led by Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, the concelebrated mass prayed for the more than 7,000 people killed in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign and called on authorities to stop the killings.

A priest opined most of the victims of the government’s anti-drug war are poor people, “who were not given chance to reform, while the illegal drug sources continue to remain scot-free.”

The mass attendees cried when relatives of the victims, or the survivors themselves, took turns in narrating their ordeals.

READ MORE...

A grieving father narrated how his scavenger son ended up dying on the street and erroneously given the name Reynaldo Guttierez at the morgue.

“This is obviously a case of mistaken identity. But our problem was compounded when we were not allowed to claim the remains of my son because the people in the morgue asked us to talk to the police,” he said in Filipino.

A 19-year-old boy drew the loudest applause after he narrated between sobs how he managed to survive, when he and seven of his friends, including an old woman and a pregnant teenager, were gunned down inside a house where they were gathered.

“The problem is that those innocent people died and the subject of the operation lived,” he said.

The organizers asked the faithful to show their support in condemning the impunity and attend the next Holy Eucharist mass action on March 2 at the Baclaran Church National Shrine of Perpetual Help.

AGUIRRE's REMARK: 'NOT PART OF HUMANITY'

 
https://youtu.be/PDj8znIQAEs?t=2 FROM RAPPLER.COM

A framer of the 1987 Constitution called on Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday to resign following his remark that criminals should not be considered part of humanity.

“How in the world can we have a justice secretary who does not see part of our people as human beings? He must resign,” Edmundo Garcia, one of those who drafted the Charter after the fall of former president Ferdinand Marcos, said yesterday.

CHR CHAIRMAN

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairman Chito Gascon also called out Aguirre for his remark, reminding him that the role of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is to uphold the law and the constitutional guarantees of right to life and due process.

Aguirre issued the controversial remark on Wednesday in reaction to a recent report by Amnesty International (AI) saying the thousands killed in connection with the government’s war against illegal drugs could be considered crimes against humanity.

DE LIMA

International court Sen. Leila de Lima said it is time for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to look into the killings in the Philippines, now that a third party has found that crimes against humanity are being done in the country.

In a statement, De Lima said AI’s report on extrajudicial killings in the country was based on “verified and verifiable testimonial and documentary evidence.”

“(The AI report) reaffirms my long-standing belief that the administration’s most murderous war on drugs constitutes an obvious case of crime against humanity, as it is defined under both domestic law… and international law,” she said.

“Under said bodies of law, willful killing or murder, among others, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack, constitutes crimes against humanity,” she added.

She said the ICC should immediately step in to stop the killings, which continue to rise on a daily basis. – With Marvin Sy


INQUIRER

Duterte slams AI for pay-for-kill claim in drug war By: Nestor Corrales - Reporter / @NCorralesINQINQUIRER.net / 05:13 PM February 03, 2017


President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo by AARON FAVILA/AP) NEWS HEADLINE: Duterte on AI report - Why would I pay police to kill? The President says police claiming they were paid to kill are corrupt police who pocketed intelligence funds intended for catching drug pushers FROM RAPPLER.COM FEBRUARY 3, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday hit back at Amnesty International (AI) for accusing his administration of ordering police and paying others to kill drug offenders in his brutal war on illegal drugs.

“Sabi binibigyan raw ng singko mil kada… P***** i**. Bakit man ako magbigay sa inyo para magpatay? Trabaho niyo ‘yan (The report claimed that for every kill, there is a reward of P5000. S** of a b****. Why would I give you money for killing? That’s your job),” Duterte said in a speech in North Cotabato.

In a report on Wednesday, AI said the drug-related killings in the country “may amount to crimes against humanity.”

READ MORE...

READ: Duterte gov’t ordered, paid killers in war on drugs — AI    

Malacañang has insisted there were no state-sponsored killings in the country amid the accusation of international human rights watchdog.

READ: Palace on AI report: No state-sponsored killings in PH

Latest data from the Philippine National Police showed that 2, 555 were killed in police operations while 4,000 deaths were under investigation. RAM

-----------------------------------

RELATED INQUIRER EDITORIAL

Frightening Philippine Daily Inquirer / 03:26 AM February 04, 2017

In December 2014, the global human rights monitor Amnesty International slammed the administration of President Benigno Aquino III for what it said was the “very widespread and routine” practice by police of torturing suspected criminals.

Five years earlier, in 2009, the last year of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s 9-year stay in Malacañang, it denounced the “hundreds of unlawful and often politically-motivated killings [that] have taken place as well as enforced disappearances, often involving torture…,” and urged Arroyo to leave behind a positive human-rights legacy.

It’s important to note these previous statements in light of the latest report by Amnesty International, titled “If you are poor, you are killed: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines’ War on Drugs.”

The result of an inquiry into President Duterte’s war on drugs and crime, the report alleges that the campaign has become a virtual money-making racket for officers of the Philippine National Police. Specifically, policemen are said to have been paid from P8,000 to P15,000 to kill suspected drug offenders, and that the orders for the killings came “from high-level officials.”

The reaction from Duterte partisans has been typical: Not only is Amnesty International biased and selective in its denunciation of the administration, but also, as put by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, it’s none of their business (“Ano ba ang pakialam nila?”).

Amnesty International’s record of chiding administrations of whatever stripe for their perceived human-rights lapses easily debunks the charge that it is singling out the incumbent.

During the dark years of martial law, for example, it was unrelenting in its denunciation of the torture, deaths and disappearances (copies of its reports were circulated by the anti-Marcos resistance in secret).

It has been consistent in advocating greater respect for due process and human rights, whether it was Marcos, Arroyo, or Aquino in Malacañang. Thus, in dismissing outright its incendiary findings, and in declaring that Mr. Duterte is beyond the pale of international scrutiny and accountability for his actions, Alvarez and company are merely serving as reliable lackeys of the Palace instead of fulfilling their basic duty to hold the government to the highest standards of probity and transparency.

Especially in the case of Mr. Duterte’s centerpiece war on drugs, which, before it was suspended as a result of the uproar over the kidnap-murder by cops of a Korean businessman, had become an all-out assault on impoverished Filipinos.

Most of the 7,000 killed so far were destitute, and died without the benefit of the fundamental due process that was their right as citizens. But even that terrible body count was still insufficient to move the administration to take a second look at its imploding campaign—now officially suspended, but still reaping corpses in the night.

Amnesty International’s investigation yielded a chilling finding: Killing a suspected drug pusher or user meant extra money for cops.

Since they’re paid per dead head, “there’s no incentive for arresting,” a police officer is quoted as saying in the report. “It never happens that there’s a shootout and no one is killed.”

The report further alleges that these “extrajudicial executions, perpetrated both by police during anti-drug operations and by paid killers with police involvement, appear to have been organized and planned by high-level officials.”

But the grisly profiting from the very anticrime campaign that these law enforcement officers are sworn to uphold apparently does not end there. According to Amnesty International, the police have “established a racket with funeral homes, who reward them for each dead body sent their way.”

Likewise, in a report in this paper, the families of some of the victims related that the police demanded money for the release of their kin arrested on drug suspicion: “I gave them the money,” said a mother, “but they still killed my son.”

Amnesty International’s report is frightening—but more frightening is the blithe way this administration is brushing it aside.

-----------------------------------

RELATED(3) FROM INQUIRER

Duterte gov’t ordered, paid killers in war on drugs — AI INQUIRER.net / 08:57 AM February 01, 2017


Amnesty International said on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, that the government of President Rodrigo Duterte ordered or paid killers in a wave of ‘extrajudicial executions’ in the country. RAFFY LERMA / PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

Amnesty International (AI) accused the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday of ordering the police and paying others “to kill thousands of alleged drug offenders in a wave of extrajudicial executions” after the group investigated some killings in the government’s bloody war on drugs.

The killings “may amount to crimes against humanity,” said AI in a report titled “If you are poor you are killed” : Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippine’s “War on Drugs”.

READ: Duterte: I personally killed drug suspects

The report said the police “systematically targeted mostly poor and defenseless people across the country while planting ‘evidence’, recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports.”

“This is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director.

READ MORE...

Since Duterte assumed office in July 2016, the police have admitted killing 2,500 alleged drug offenders in a campaign dubbed “Oplan Tokhang.” The Philippine National Police (PNP) claim the killings were done in “self-defense” after suspects violently resisted arrest.

Another 4,500 killings have been classified as “deaths under investigation” which the PNP has blamed on drug syndicates’ “internal cleansing” and on vigilante groups.

READ: The Inquirer Kill List

“Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to be uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police,” the AI report said.

AI’s investigation, details 33 cases wherein 59 people were killed. It said it interviewed 110 individuals across the country and looked into documents that included police reports.

In one instance, the wife of an alleged drug offender said her husband was pleading for mercy when police shot him at “close range” inside their house in Batangas City. The policemen then allegedly dragged her outside and beat her up.

READ: 8 of 10 Filipinos fear getting killed in drug war

Meanwhile, a police officer reportedly told AI that they were “paid by the encounter” where drug suspects were killed.

“We always get paid by the encounter … The amount ranges from P8,000 pesos to P15,000 pesos,” AI quoted the policeman, a member of the force for 10 years and who reportedly had the rank of Senior Police Officer 1.

The policeman alleged that they were “secretly” paid in cash “per head” by “headquarters.”

“If the operation is against four people, that’s P32,000,” the policeman reportedly claimed.

“There’s no incentive for arresting. We’re not paid anything,” AI quoted the policeman as saying. CBB

RELATED STORIES

Duterte: I would’ve killed 6 drug suspects in San Juan raid

Duterte extends deadly drug war

Duterte: Mayors into drugs will die


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