MANILA - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Friday ordered police to respect human rights of suspects during drug busts.
Speaking at a National Press Club forum in Intramuros, Moreno said he supports the national government’s crackdown on illegal drug trade, saying he ordered city law enforcers to put a premium on the protection of human rights.
The mayor said drug addiction is a health concern that needs to be addressed in his administration.
“‘Yung crimes and killings, I cannot guarantee [to end] kasi it can happen to anywhere in this world but with regards to the policy and guidance, ang sabi ko simple lang: habulin lahat ang nagbebenta ng droga. Gamutin, tulungan, kalinganin ng estado ang mga biktima ng nagbebenta ng droga. Ito ‘yung mga adik; igalang ang karapatang pantao ng mga suspect,” he said.
The nationwide anti-illegal drug campaign has been widely criticized over supposed human rights violations of drug suspects, with watchdog groups reporting over 20,000 deaths.
The Philippine National Police has repeatedly said those slain in drug operations had violently resisted arrest. It also clarified that 5,526 drug suspects were killed from July 1, 2016 until June 30 this year.
Meanwhile, Moreno said police should also protect themselves when their lives are at risk to the criminals.
“At the same time, pangalagaan ang mga pulis ang kanilang kaligtasan. Meron ding mahal sa buhay ang mga iyan. Kung nailagay sila sa sitwasyong alanganin, bagay na dapat naman nilang proteksyonan ang sarili nila,” he said.
Earlier, US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim lauded Moreno’s stance on the anti-drug campaign.
“We appreciate your approach. You’re dealing with it in a manner that is consistent with human rights and rule of law,” Kim said.