The Philippine National Police (PNP) is challenging retired and active police officers used as sources in a Reuters report to come forward with their allegations that police are being paid to kill drug and criminal suspects all over the country.
In a press briefing, PNP spokesperson Dionardo Carlos said there is a proper forum where police officers can air their grievances.
"Sana nga ho they man up, hindi yung magtago sa likod ng white cloth. They are former and current members of the org. There’s an established procedure, there’s a grievance committee. Sana in-avail nila to, yun nga eh. It’s an indication of their current mindset," Carlos said.
A Reuters report earlier quoted two police sources as saying the Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes, and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes.
One of the sources, a retired intelligence officer, has written a report that claims police are paid to kill not just drug suspects, but also -- for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head - rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other "troublemakers."
It also claims that civilian members of the so-called Davao Death Squad, which rights activists allege killed hundreds of people in Duterte's hometown of Davao, were drafted to "augment and assist" the police's current nationwide anti-drug operation.
The report does not provide documentary evidence for its accusations, which the intelligence officer said were based on accounts from 17 serving or former policemen, including the commander Reuters interviewed.
The police commander said he agreed to talk because he was upset that authorities are targeting only petty drug suspects. "Why aren't they killing the suppliers?" he asked. "Only the poor are dying."
A separate Amnesty International report earlier said police are paid up to P15,000 for every drug suspect they kill. One police officer interviewed by Amnesty International said the cash incentive is "paid in cash, secretly, by headquarters."
The PNP, however, reiterated there is no truth to the allegations being hurled at them.
"Ang titignan namin diyan ano talaga naging participation nila (officers) to come up with this report. And on our part, walang ganoong kautusan, walang ganong klaseng ops na ginagawa ng PNP. Kung meron hong ganyan, there’s no order so hindi legitimate yan, on their own. That [is] not sanctioned by the leadership and the organization," Carlos added, saying the statistics mentioned in the report are impossible.
NO FUND FOR DRUG KILLS
While Carlos said they have a fund for the war on drugs, they do not give high cash incentives in exchange for killed drug personalities.
“Medyo mataas yung mga figures, mga amount, and clearly the Chief PNP has answered that. We don’t have that much funds, much more to spend that amount on such things. Unang-una, illegal, bawal. So yun po," he said.
"Pangalawa, hirap tayo sa pondo at di ho talaga nakalaan, wala tayong nakalaan na pondo para sa ganyan so talagang the figure itself, mahirap maging makatotohanan,” Carlos added.
The PNP also denied that they unplug security cameras whenever they have illegal drugs operations.
“Napakahirap gawin at the ground level because we don’t have control over the CCTV operation or the recording. Pangalawa, walang ganong instructions, walang ganong klaseng instructions under PNP. We would like to look into the entire report kasi yun nga, tama observation niyo na dati na tong lumabas, inulit na lang. Pinahaba yung iba’t ibang punto, nadagdagan na ng pagpapatay ng CCTV,” Carlos said.
The PNP spokesperson noted that the accusations contained in the 26-page report seem to be a rehash of previous issues which they have already answered in the past.
"Parang inulit ulit lang, unless they want to come out and say that we’re doing it. We’re the one killing it. Yun naman sinasabi nila doon so definitely, not sanctioned by the PNP, there’s no such orders or instructions coming from the PNP leadership and wala pong ganon eh so sana ma-validate nga that’s why I’m asking the reporter, have they done this before we reply on the specifics," Carlos said.
The spokesman said the police leadership is taking the allegations seriously and expressed their desire to investigate the 2 active and retired intelligence officers quoted in the report.
"Yes, the leadership would like to know the background of these allegations, these personalities at tututukan yan at mabigat na akusasyon at hindi ginagawa ng PNP at ng liderato yan. They’re alleging that this is happening and they’re saying they were part of this at kung makita natin yung totoo base sa evidence, mag-pa-file tayo ng appropriate cases for violating the law."