Isko Moreno expects ‘high tolerance’ from cops in Manila drug war

Rambo Talabong
Isko Moreno expects ‘high tolerance’ from cops in Manila drug war
'Minsan habulan, eh napagod 'yung pulis, binaril na lang sa likod. Eh that's violation of human rights,' says Manila City mayor-elect Isko Moreno Domagoso

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor-elect Isko Moreno Domagoso expects to see cops apply “high tolerance” in the field in pursuing the unrelenting anti-drugs campaign.

“I hope that when you were taught inside the schooling in the academy, being the policeman, the tolerance level, you were taught to have high tolerance as member of the PNP (Philippine National Police),” Moreno said in a Rappler Talk interview on Saturday, May 18.

He said he recognizes that both the law enforcers and drug suspects enjoy human rights to keep themselves safe. But he said there has to be proportional application of force in making arrests.

High tolerance is minsan habulan, eh napagod ‘yung pulis, binaril na lang sa likod. Eh that’s [violation of] human rights. Pero hinabol mo, galingan mong tumakbo, habulin mo nang habulin,” Moreno said.

(High tolerance means when cops sometimes gets in a chase and gets tired, he shoots the suspect in the back. That’s a violation of human rights. When you chase someone, keep on chasing them.)

This comes after Manila has made a name for itself for being one of the flashpoints of the Duterte administration’s so-called war on drugs. During the course of the campaign, journalists have reported on cases where police allegedly abused their power and killed innocent suspects. There was also the case of a Tondo police station keeping a secret jail cell amid the drug crackdown.

As he rises to city hall, he is set to work with Manila Police District chief Brigadier General Vicente Danao, who used to be Davao City police chief when President Rodrigo Duterte was a mayor.

Still, Moreno stressed that the anti-drug campaign will grant no exceptions in its operations. He called on drug suspects to leave the capital. In this respect, he said, they will apply “zero tolerance.”

Madali namin kayong hanapin. (It’s easy to find you.) Don’t do it in Manila. It’s fair to say that we are going after them,” Moreno said. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.