PNP chief: Lawmen are ‘victims’ too in war on drugs

Senator Leila de Lima welcomes Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa before the start of the Senate hearing on the extrajudicial killings.(MNS photo)

Senator Leila de Lima welcomes Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa before the start of the Senate hearing on the extrajudicial killings.(MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Tuesday told senators that law enforcers are also “victims” in the government’s war on drugs.

“Our own people are also victims, they are also killed. This is just to illustrate that there is indeed a clear danger on the lives of our men in the operations against illegal drugs,” Dela Rosa said during the second day of the Senate’s hearing on the killings of drugs suspects.

Dela Rosa said that based on the PNP’s records, nine policemen and three military personnel have been killed in anti-illegal drugs operations while 18 policemen and eight military personnel have been wounded.

The PNP chief also reported to the senators that a total of 130 police officers have tested positive for drugs use and 11 police scalawags have been killed and 20 more arrested.

In his presentation, Dela Rosa said that the crime situation in the country has improved as a result of the intensified anti-drugs campaign.

“After seven weeks of implementation, we are getting a headway in this campaign. The anti-illegal drugs campaign plan double barrel contributed to the significant decrease in the total crime volume,” Dela Rosa said in his presentation.

The Senate hearing is being conducted by the Committee on Justice and Human Rights chaired by Sen. Leila de Lima and Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

He said there was a 31-percent increase in the index crime volume from 17,105 cases in July 2015 down to 11,800 in July 2016.

He added that there was also a decrease in the incidence of robbery, theft, carnapping of motor vehicles, and carnapping or motorcycles.

He also showed that there was an increase in rape cases from July 1 to August 18. He presented a graph showing a decreasing daily crime trend from July 1 to August 21.

More surrenders than deaths, arrests

Dela Rosa said the campaign against illegal drugs continues to gain momentum as manifested by the number of surrenderees which reached  673,978, as of August 22, including self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones and suspected drug lords businessman Melvin Odicta and Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

He said the anti-illegal drugs operations has resulted in the arrest of 11,784 and deaths of 756 drug suspects.

“There are more surrenders and arrested than killed drug personalities as a result of the police operations. The pie chart clearly indicates the greater volume of surrenderee than the number of the arrested and killed drug personalities,” he said.

Dela Rosa said the PNP has also recorded 1,070 cases of killings involving unidentified assailants—with 1,160 fatalities—under investigation.

Of this number, 939 were shooting incidents, 69 were stabbing or hacking, 14 incidents of strangulation, and 48 other incidents.

Of the persons killed “outside police operations,” two were policemen, eight were members of the AFP, 29 were elected government officials, 10 were government employees, and 1,111 were civilians.

He further said that their initial investigations revealed that 273 were killed because of their alleged involvement in illegal drug activities, 33 due to personal grudge and seven are theft-related while 757 are still undetermined.

Dela Rosa also reported that 80 of the victims were found with “karatula” (cardboard) and 23 were hog-tied.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said among the challenges that the PNP are facing are the lack of support from and uncooperative local government executives.

He added that local government units were also unprepared to process the huge number of surrenderees due to lack of rehabilitation facilities and corresponding budget.(MNS)

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