Mechanisms exist to probe erring cops – Panelo

Published November 6, 2018, 4:53 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has rejected the proposed creation of an independent commission to probe policemen allegedly involved in the killing of drug suspects, saying government institutions are in place to investigate any abuse.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the “reckless” proposal of the Human Rights Watch was merely another attempt to meddle in the country’s affairs.

“This proposal by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) for the creation of an independent commission to go after police officers allegedly involved in the killing of drug suspects smacks of another effort of this moribund group, which projects itself as a human rights organization, to intrude into our domestic affairs,” he said in a statement.

“Its inference from an interview of a lone police official cannot be a valid ground for such reckless proposal. This is not new and is no different from those hurled by desperate critiques of this administration since Day 1 of the President’s war against illegal drugs,” he added.

He said the HRW was trying to revive an old issue that “clearly aims to undermine the integrity of the government’s institutional mechanisms.”

“We need to correct the minds of our people from this misinformation that the group wants to propagate,” he said.

In dismissing the HRW’s proposal, Panelo said the country has the police force’s internal affairs service, Commission on Human Rights, and Congress as among the government bodies ready to probe any government abuse.

“We have an existing mechanism such as the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which acts on cases of errant policemen, as part of the internal cleansing of the organization,” he said.

“Further, we have an independent Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Congress, a co-equal branch of government, which conduct investigations on reported abuses of authorities. These, among other governmental bodies engaged in counterbalancing measures, are functioning,” he said.

Panelo insisted that the country does not need “schooling from outsiders on how to run the country.”

The HRW has reportedly proposed the formation of a commission that would probe the liability of policemen behind the deaths of suspects in the war on illegal drugs. The proposal was made after a local policeman claimed that some policemen were hired as hitmen for drug syndicates.

The independent commission should reportedly include representatives from the CHR and non-government organizations.