CHR welcomes move to put PDEA at helm of 'drug war'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2017 04:25 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Thursday welcomed the leadership shift in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

The CHR said it was confident that the new lead agency, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, would adhere to the rule of law. The PDEA took over from the Philippine National Police.

"We are hopeful and confident that with the professionalism and expertise of PDEA in implementing RA 9165, the campaign against illegal drugs will be carried out with strict adherence to the rule of law," the commission said, referring to the anti-drug law.

The CHR said the PNP should instead focus on fighting vigilantes and investigate killings made during police operations.

At least 3,800 drug suspects had been killed in police operations since the drug war began, PNP data show. Police claim these cases happened because the suspects violently resisted arrest.

The conduct of the drug war again came under question from rights groups following the death of teenage drug suspect Kian Delos Santos in August.

"This new development also is a good indication that the administration listens to the public's clamor for the protection and promotion of human rights and mirrors their commitment to do so," the CHR said. -- report from Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News