PNP must enforce accountability among ranks, says Human Rights Watch

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2021 08:08 AM

PNP must enforce accountability among ranks, says Human Rights Watch 1
The Philippine National Police, headed by Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, presents Police Master Sgt. Henise Zinampan to the media fter his arrest June 1, 2021. Zinampan is the suspect in the now-viral video of a shooting of a 52-year old woman. Courtesy of PNP-PIO

MANILA—The Philippine National Police must enforce accountability among its ranks, the Human Rights Watch said Wednesday after an off-duty police officer shot dead his neighbor in Quezon City.

The PNP Internal Affairs Service, which investigates cases involving police officers, must be strengthened, said HRW senior researcher Carlos Conde.

" 'Yung Internal Affairs Service, gaano ba sila ka-epektibo? Sa usapin ng violation ng human rights sa drug war, halos wala silang effect, marami sa kaso nila mga administrative cases. Dapat palakasin ang IAS mechanism," Conde told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(How effective is the Internal Affairs Service? They had almost no effect on human rights violations in the drug war. Many of the cases are administrative. The IAS mechanism should be strengthened.)

"Dapat ito ang maghihikayat sa PNP na humingi ng tulong sa mga ahensiya ng gobyerno like CHR (Commission on Human Rights) instead iblock nila."

(It should urge the PNP to seek help from government agencies, such as CHR, instead of blocking their efforts.)

The PNP can also seek help on how to improve their performance from Congress, both chambers of which have committees on public service, Conde added.

"Challenge ito ngayon sa PNP. Si (PNP chief) Gen. (Guillermo) Eleazar, marami siyang sinasabing magandang pakinggan, unang-una 'yung aksyon ang dapat tingnan natin at realidad na 5 buwan lang siya sa posisyon, di natin alam kung sino ang kasunod, kung itutuloy ba niya ang reforms na gusto niya," he said.

(This is now a challenge to the PNP. Gen. Eleazar is saying a lot of things that sound reassuring, but we should look at the actions, face the reality that he only has 5 months as PNP chief. We don't know who will succeed him and if he will continue Eleazar's reforms.)

"Although nahuhuli naman, kinakasuhan naman, ang issue dito dapat hindi nangyayari ito to begin with. Dapat equipped sila with the right psychological framework o mindset para i-deal ang ganitong personal na bagay."

(Although erring policemen are caught and charged, the issue here is this should not happen to begin with. Policemen should be equipped with the right psychological framework o mindset to deal with personal issues.)

President Rodrigo Duterte also encouraged a "culture of impunity" within the PNP's ranks, according to Conde.

"Mula nu'ng naupo si President Duterte inencourage niya ang extrajudicial killings, wala pang napaparusahan na kapulisan. Nagkaroon ng mindset na napakamakapangyarihan nila (PNP). Impunity--they can do whatever they want," he said.

(President Duterte has encouraged extrajudicial killings since he assumed office and no policeman has been penalized since. The PNP's mindset has become that they are all-powerful and that they can do whatever they want.)

"Hindi lang naman nangyayari ito (ngayon) . . . We are at a point now sa history na dapat yung accountability mechanisms ng PNP, military, gobyerno ay dapat umiiral na nang maayos."

(It doesn't happen only now. We are at a point now in history that accountability mechanisms of the PNP, military, and government should be working well.)

Eleazar earlier vowed to immediately dismiss from service Police Master Sgt. Hensie Zinampan who was caught in a now-viral video grabbing Lilybeth Valdez, 52, by the hair before shooting her in Barangay Greater Fairview, Quezon City on Monday. 

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