By Chito Chavez
Saying that it was a cause for grave concern, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) stressed that claims of police involvement in the illegal drug trade was a blackeye that has tarnished the credibility of the whole Philippine National Police (PNP) organization.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia was referring to the on-going Senate Hearing on the supposed links of rogue cops in the recycling and selling of confiscated drugs.
She said that public trust in the integrity and honesty of the police officers have spiraled downward to great proportions, saying it “inevitably hounds the credibility of the campaign against illegal drugs’’.
“This comes amidst the still unexplained death toll and alleged involvement of police in a number of ‘nanlaban’ cases in the context of the anti-drug campaign,’’ de Guia said.
De Guia asserted that police authorities are expected to have high moral ground and be the primary followers of the law that they seek to enforce.
She added that public ethics and professionalism dictate that police officers should abide by the laws above and beyond the obeisance they require from the Filipino citizenry.
De Guia stressed that “failure to do so necessitates accountability’’ among the guilty parties.
Explaining further, de Guia maintained that demoting, suspending, and/or sending rogue cops to conflict areas “do not follow what is prescribed in the law and render questionable the efforts to reform and cleanse the institution’’.
“We must be unrelenting in calling for greater accountability from the agency and its officials who swore to serve and protect the people through law enforcement,’’ she added.
Based on the September 2019 Social Weather Stations SWS) survey, the CHR noted there was still high confidence in the anti-drug campaign.
With this, de Guia noted the survey may drive “the Philippine National Police (PNP) to be more transparent and open in all its operations to not betray the trust bestowed by the public that believes in the good intentions and the results of the fight against illegal drugs and criminality’’.
With this, the CHR said it has always expressed support for the good intentions of the anti-drug campaign of the government.
However, de Guia insisted anew the CHR’s negation on the methods employed, which is prone to abuse and breeds scalawags.
She insisted that transparency and thorough investigation is necessary for the rule of law to prevail that will also protect the rights of the police officers.
“The people deserve an able, credible, and ethical police force so everyone’s rights are protected while ensuring security and safety of all,’’ de Guia lamented.
In conclusion, de Guia sais as always, “the Commission extends our offer for collaboration and partnership to address and reduce instances of human rights abuses. In the pursuit of our mandate, we will also be vigilant in ensuring that those who commit violations will be held to account to fight impunity and prevent further indignities and violations suffered by vulnerable Filipinos.’’
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