POLICE SAY REPORT NOT ACCURATE
MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday urged the Human Rights Watch (HRW) to file cases against cops who according to its report committed abuses in the government's war against drugs.
"If there are evidence that would point to the violations of these police officers, kasuhan ho natin. Hindi namin papayagan na sila ho ay gumagawa ng mali pero hindi naman natin napapasagot," said PNP spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos in a press conference.
Carlos however emphasized that based on PNP's internal investigations through the Internal Affairs Service (IAS), several policemen were not at fault.
"Sa insidente in the past months, they already made their reports and majority of those they investigated, wala pong paglabag na ginawa," Carlos said.
The IAS, he said, has probed around 2,000 cases and found possible violations of 28 police officers, who have already been made to answer.
Out of these cops, two are already facing murder charges, he added.
"We hope that we can have have those evidence that they are saying they have so we can purse 'yung sinasabi nilang nagkamali," said Carlos.
In its latest report, the HRW examined 24 incidents, which happened from June 8, 2016 up to January 14, 2017. The operations resulted in 32 deaths, allegedly at the hand of anti-narcotics cops.
Carlos said PNP may conduct an internal investigation if HRW would share their findings and evidence.
The PNP spokesperson said 24 incidents cited by HRW do not mean that the whole force was engaged in illegal operations, emphasizing that the international rights group should look at the 48,000 drug suspects they arrested alive.
"Do not generalize... We have the 48,000 people arrested alive," he said.
Carlos also questioned the words used by HRW in its report saying the incidents were "crimes against humanity."
"What is their tipping point? Let's say 24. Is that already a crime against humanity?" he said.
He added that HRW's claim that 7,000 killings were drug-related was not accurate.
HRW said that since Duterte assumed power in July 2016, over 7,000 suspected drug users and traffickers have been killed, but the government is only taking responsibility for about 2,500 of these deaths.
According to Carlos, based on PNP findings on deaths under investigation (DUI), only 682 cases were found to be drug-related and over 800 other cases were "regular crimes happening in the street."
On the killings made during police operations, Carlos said, "In the war against drugs, we do not want the 2,600 getting killed. But we are going to protect ourselves and make sure we are standing and we continue to do our mandate."
"Hindi ho kami 'yung nag-create ng scenario na 'yun na sila ay namatay," he added.