Prelate warns drug killings picking up again

Published June 10, 2018, 1:00 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Kate Javier

“Our call for a stop to the killings is obviously falling on deaf ears.”

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David via CBCP News / Manila Bulletin
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David via CBCP News / Manila Bulletin

This what Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgillio David said following the rising number of slain drug suspects during alleged encounters.

David said the rising body count could be a “sign that the killings were picking up again.”

“The killings have been rampant again these past few days, especially in Bulacan,” David said.

In Caloocan, he cited 27-year old Isaac Vasquez III who was killed after allegedly fiback during a buy-bust operation on May 27.

“The neighbors say he was handcuffed by the police, brought to a dark corner, told to run and then shot at. They say he could not have fought back. The man’s family cannot even afford a decent burial so they sought help from the Church,” David told the Manila Bulletin.

Vasquez was the first fatality of the Caloocan police’s anti-illegal drug operation since President Duterte ordered the return of the war on drugs to the PNP five months ago.

As of the moment, four drug suspects were killed during alleged shootouts with the Caloocan police in a span of two weeks.

David, an outspoken critic of alleged extra-judicial killings in the government’s war against illegal drugs, said he wonder why families of slain drug suspects cannot even afford a decent burial if they were big-time drug dealers.

“They are usually rushed to the hospital and declared DOA 99% of the time. As a consequence, aside from funeral and burial expenses, the families now also have to settle hospital bills and autopsy service,” David explained.

The prelate, however, said he has no issue with the Philippine National Police (PNP) making legitimate arrests and filing appropriate charges against proven drug suspects.

It can be recalled that the whole Caloocan police force was sacked following the controversial deaths of teens in the hands of their members last year.