MANILA - Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando said he is saddened by a new report by Amnesty International tagging his province as the "bloodiest killing field" in the Duterte administration's war on drugs.
Fernando said there are several reasons behind such findings, one of which is the province's continued support for the war against illegal drugs.
"Nakakalungkot isipin na matagurian ang Bulacan bilang 'bloodiest killing field' kung saan marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nasawi sa war on drugs. Maraming kadahilanan kung bakit nangyayari ito, at tayo ay tiyak na sumusuporta sa laban kontra droga, gayunpaman ay dapat bigyan ng pansin kung mayroong naging paglabag sa karapatang pantao," he said in a statement.
Fernando also said ensuring the safety of his constituents remains his priority.
"Ako ay naniniwala na sa ating paghahangad ng kapayapaan ay dapat una ang pagtiyak sa kaligtasan ng ating mamamayan pagtutuunan ang mga sanhi at ugat ng krimininalidad para makamit natin ang tunay at pangmatagalang kapayapaan," he said.
Fernando said he takes the issue seriously and will bring it up to concerned officials and agencies.
"We take this matter very seriously at ito ay tiyak na tatalakayin sa pakikipag ugnayan sa ating local peace and order council at iba pang concerned agencies," Fernando said.
Police Colonel Chito Bersaluna, provincial director of the Bulacan Provincial Police Office, said the police try hard to avoid violence during police operations.
He also said the police will investigate any wrongdoing on their part, as is mandated by law.
"Gusto po natin na walang sino man na mapinsala/masaktan sa panig ng mga suspek man at sa aming kapulisan. Nirerespeto po natin ang bawat karapatan ng isang tao maging suspek o kriminal man ito. Kung meron mang kalabisan na ginawa o pagkakamaling nagawa ang ating kapulisan ay hindi po natin iyon kukonsintihin, dapat sila ay imbestigahan at kung mapatunayan ay maparusahan," he said in a statement.
According to Bersaluna, it is up to the national government to respond to the Amnesty International report.
"Sa isyu naman sa Amnesty International bilang dayuhan na organisasyon o entity ay mas mabuti po ito ay sagutin ng mas nakakataas sa amin o ng ating gobyerno," he said.
In a report released Monday, Amnesty International said Bulacan is now the country’s bloodiest killing field based on the high number of fatalities in the area.
Amnesty checked on 27 killings between May 2018 to April 2019 in Bulacan and noted the transfer of some police commanders who previously supervised “abusive operations” in Manila in the past 18 months.
The new report, "They just kill: Ongoing extrajudicial executions and other violations in the Philippines' war on drugs," outlined patterns it saw in the killings it investigated.