Watchdog dares Dela Rosa: Prove it’s not just PR
MANILA, Philippines – The order of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa for policemen to stop their anti-illegal drugs operations is “nothing less than an empty public relations gesture” unless he punishes cops involved in extrajudicial killings, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said Monday, January 30.
In a statement, Phelim Kine, deputy director for Asia, noted that Dela Rosa has announced “internal cleansing” as the main reason for the temporary pause in the drug war but “has made clear that he has no interest in accountability” for the death of more than 7,000 Filipinos in the last 6 months.
“His willful blind-eye to those deaths constitutes a disgraceful betrayal of the public trust and is a telling indicator of his personal contempt for rule of law and the right to life of his fellow citizens,” Kine said.
Dela Rosa on Monday announced that he has ordered a stop to all anti-drug operations of the PNP following President Rodrigo Duterte's order to "cleanse" the institution of scalawags.
The anti-drug campaign will now be handled by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Smarting from a huge embarrassment over the murder of a South Korean businessman in Camp Crame, Duterte ordered the abolition of all anti-drug units of the PNP, including the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, to which two policemen linked to the Korean's kidnap-slay belonged.
A total of 2,546 suspected drug users and drug dealers have been killed in police drug operations since July 1, 2016. At least 3,603 have been killed by “unidentified gunmen,” HRW said. – Rappler.com