MANILA (Mabuhay) — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said the Senate should focus on crafting laws to strengthen the Philippine National Police (PNP) instead of subjecting police officers under investigation for recent drug-related killings.
Cayetano issued the statement amid the impending probe by the Senate justice committee on the spate of extra-judicial slays under the Duterte administration.
“We have to be responsible dito sa Senado because whatever we do here will send a message. Hindi takot ang pulis. Tapos gusto nating gamitin ang hearing para takutin sila? Hindi yata ayos ‘yun,” said Cayetano.
A staunch supporter of Duterte, Cayetano ran but lost in the vice presidential elections as the President’s runningmate.
According to Cayetano, among the measures the Senate should focus on are those giving protection to whistleblowers, strengthening the witness protection program, improving the national penitentiary, and creating more drug courts.
“Bakit hindi ang mga ito ang unahin?,” said Cayetano, who is the author of one of several bills to hike the salaries and increase the benefits of uniformed men.
Cayetano said such killings had happened in past administrations but were never classified as extralegal killings.
“Ang nasa dyaryo at TV ngayon, panay extrajudicial killings. Bakit noong panahon ni Aquino, panahon ni Arroyo, ang tawag lang diyan ay murder o kaya homicide? Bakit ngayon automatically these are extrajudicial or summary killings?,” asked the lawmaker.
“If you compare the numbers, you will see na ang ganitong klaseng patayan ay na-experience na natin before,” he added.
More than 400 drug suspects have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration waged war against the illegal drugs trade, according to the PNP.
The tally from the PNP, culled from July 1 to August 2, also showed a total of 5,418 suspects have been arrested and 565,806 others have turned themselves in to authorities.
The PNP also said it has conducted 223,847 house visitations and implemented 427 search warrants.
The slain suspects were killed either in police operations or vigilante-style.
Cayetano said the Duterte administration’s war against drugs is working.
“We’re winning the war on drugs, magiging tahimik na ang ating mga kalye. Bakit ang unang-una mong ihi-hearing ay sasabihin mong may maling ginagawa ang mga pulis kahit na wala pang pruweba,” the lawmaker said. (MNS)