CHR slams 'Oplan Tokhang' resumption prior to police reforms

Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 03 2017 01:25 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2017 05:33 PM

MANILA - The government's human rights agency on Friday denounced the resumption of police-led "Oplan Tokhang" even before the Philippine National Police cleansed its ranks of rogue cops.

"It should not continue because it has caused thousands to be killed without due process, and many innocents have perished in the course of the campaign," the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said in a statement.

CHR added PNP's internal cleansing has "scarcely begun and has not yet produced concrete results." The "cleanse" was implemented after the murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, who supposedly died at the hand of cops.

"The Commission, as the conscience of the government, urges the government to continue the drug campaign without resorting to violence, and to hold Oplan Tokhang in abeyance until the PNP has concretely introduced reforms, and only after serious investigations into the extra-judicial killings have been made," said CHR.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a halt to the PNP-led war on drugs and tasked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to lead anti-drug operations. However, PDEA admitted that it was unequipped to handle operations, citing low manpower.

The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group recorded 3,000 drug-related deaths in the Philippines from May 10, 2016 to February 28, 2017.

Most deaths were recorded to have occurred from July to September last year, when anti-drug operations by police were in full swing.