VACC urges drug war suspension after new 'tanim-droga' case

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 09 2017 03:23 PM

FILE PHOTO: Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa gestures during a news conference at the PNP headquarters in Quezon City, January 23, 2017.Czar Dancel, Reuters

MANILA - An anti-crime watchdog on Tuesday urged the Philippine National Police to stand down anew from the government's war on narcotics after several cops were tagged in another case of alleged evidence planting. 

"Kung pwede itigil nila ulit iyung war on drugs, magkaroon ulit ng total cleansing until talagang malinis nila ito para hindi ito maging cause ng national embarrassment saka para sa peace of mind natin," said Boy Evangelista, spokesperson of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption. 

"The war on drugs is not working. It's a failure because of this incidence na pag-aabuso. It is subject for abuse." 

Evangelista cited an ABS-CBN report on Monday about Wilgelmo Galura, a government employee in Pampanga province who accused cops of planting drugs as evidence against him.

"Planting of evidence is a major, serious crime against law abiding citizens, taxpayers. Nasaan po proteksyon ng mga tao ng mga law abiding citizen na anytime kaya nilang gawin ito?" he said.

"Nasaan ang safeguard natin kung mismong mga nagpapatupad ng war on drugs eh inaabuso nila?" 

Evangelista also cited the case of Korean national Jee Ick-joo, who was allegedly killed by police officers who reportedly arrested him on trumped up drug charges. 

VACC urged the PNP to reform its recruitment system, given the series of alleged police abuses. 

"Baguhin nila recruitment ng police academy. 'Yung mga narecruit nila i-reform nila, i-back to school ulit. Iyung mindset ng mga men in uniform, baguhin nila yung evaluation nila," he said.

PNP leaders, he added, must ensure that the drug war will not be abused by some scalawag officers. 

"War on drugs is subject to abuse kaya we ask for total cleansing ng mga men in uniform, yung mga into drug operations na dapat talaga mabago nila culture of impunity and culture of corruption. Iyan ang dapat mabigyang atensyon ng pnp leadership para maging," he said.