By: Marites Toledo
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) admitted that there is human rights violations committed in the war on illegal drugs by the Duterte administration.
However, DILG Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III made it clear to the media that the violations were not massive as showed in the DILG independent probe.
Densing said there is no sufficient bases showing that human rights violations of those who were killed in police drug operations were massive.
Data provided by the Philippine National Police (PNP) noted that there were more than 4,000 people have been killed in the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the government since June.
PNP said more than 2,000 individuals were killed in legitimate operations—meaning the drug suspects attempted to put up a fight against arresting police operatives.
There were those who were gunned down by unidentified supposed hired killers.
Densing said “There will be human rights violations. [But the question is] Is it massive or not? Indications based on the case showed that it is not massive… indicatively there is no human rights violations or it is at the barest minimum.”
The DILG probe team recommended that each police station should have copy of the PNP Manual about police operations in the conduct of arresting suspected criminals.
According to Densing, “Walang manual ang mga stations on operations and policies and each police station must have it.”
The DILG is also recommending the use of a body camera to ensure that police operations can have a semblance of transparency.
“Para maipakita na talagang hindi pumapatay ang mga pulis ng alleged pushers na walang kalaban-laban,” he said.
He added that human rights should be a major subject in the PNP academy.
He further said the police officers must undergo a human rights seminar.
“Hindi namin ikinatutuwa na may namamatay tuwing drug operation, whether it is the life of pusher or policemen. It just so happened that the police officers are trained and these pushers are not pero may baril sila kaya lalaban sila,” he said.