PNP chief reiterates no EJK in PH

MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde on Friday reiterated that there are no extra-judicial killings (EJKs) under the Duterte administration.

Albayalde made the reaction to the Human Rights Watch claim that there were no cops convicted of EJK.

Albayalde said that since the campaign against illegal drugs started in 2016, some 672 police officers have been charged for violation of human rights.

Hindi po natin alam (We don't know). Of course wala naman po tayong sinasabi na EJK (There is no EJK). Not even the CHR (Commission on Human Rights) had said na wala silang napatunayan na nagkaroon ng EJK dito sa bansa (has not proven that there was EJK in the country), Albayalde told reporters in an interview during the Police Regional Office Cordillera celebration of the 117th Police Service Anniversary on Friday.

He noted that since President Duterte assumed the post, a total of 7,431 PNP personnel have been meted disciplinary penalties for administrative offenses since 2016.

Of the figure, around 2,169 personnel were dismissed from the service, 4,133 were suspended, 436 demoted, 464 reprimanded, 30 restricted to quarters, 48 withheld of privileges, and 151 whose salaries have been forfeited.

In the past 19 months of the PNP's internal cleansing program, Albayalde said the Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) arrested 91 police personnel and neutralized seven personnel in 50 separate counter-intelligence operations.

CITF commander Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr. said the task force received a total of 13,481 complaints via SMS and calls through its hotline numbers, including 1,718 complaints concerning 450 police commissioned officers and 1,454 police non-commissioned officers from Feb. 3, 2017 to Sept. 27, 2018.

The CITF investigations led to the filing of administrative cases before the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) against 66 police personnel, and criminal charges in court against 85 other errant police personnel, including 21 civilians.

Caramat said 173 complaints and information received by the task force were subsequently referred to concerned offices of the Deputy Regional Director for Operations.

Of the complaints and information received since Feb. 3, 2017, 36 involving 75 PNP personnel and civilians were investigated and 137 other cases involving 180 PNP personnel and civilians were referred to their respective PNP units for proper validation.

The CITF added there were also 152 walk-in complainants against 203 PNP personnel and other involved civilians.

Meanwhile, the CITF called on the public to report abuse, irregularities and anomalies involving PNP personnel through its 24/7 Text and Call hotlines: 0998-970-2286 and 09995-795-2569 and through the "Counter Intelligence Task Force" (@PNPCITF) on Facebook Messenger.

Earlier, Albayalde said the word EJK was so abused, it was used and reused and further abused. The word was also used irresponsibly for the propaganda of some sectors, noting that those killed during campaign against illegal drugs were common criminals.

These are police operations. Wala namang kinalaman si Presidente sa operations natin dahil ang utos lang niya ay (The President is not involved in our operations because his order is) to wage a war against illegal drugs, he said.

It is unfortunate that some critics of this administration use the term irresponsibly for their own propaganda, Albayalde added.

Albayalde also gave the assurance the police would continue to implement innovative strategies.

The PNP chief said this would serve as both an inspiration and a challenge for the police to intensify the campaign further, along with the built-in safeguards to maintain its good intentions without irregularity or abuse.

Our campaign against illegal drugs will continue to be relentless and chilling but likewise compliant to the requirements of due process, human rights of individuals including drug suspects and the rule law, Albayalde said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency