145 high value targets, drug peddlers killed — PNP
The Philippine National Police on Wednesday reported that a total of 145 high value targets have been killed while 1,473 high-profile suspects were arrested in a series of drug operations in the country during the past 14 under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In the latest data provided by the PNP Directorate for Operations headed by director Camilo Pancratius Pascua Cascolan, the PNP said the killing of 145 HVTs took place since Duterte declared his war on drugs last July 1, 2017 and September this year.
In a statement, the PNP information office, said the killing of the 145 and the arrest of HVTs were based on a generated data emanating from the DO office,
Cascolan said that 105 were registered as homicide cases and still subject for further investigations.
The PNP recorded a total of 8,315 HVTs, the object of its relentless efforts to eradicate the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
Of the total HVT figure, 3,103 suspects have voluntarily surrendered and are now strictly under watch by authorities.
The remaining 3,103 HVTs, however, “cannot be located in their respective areas,” and were classified as either deceased, undergoing rehabilitation, or outside of the country.
The PNP said the drug war netted a total of 1, 308,078 surrenderees, while 113,9932 suspects were arrested as a result of the joint efforts of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the PNP during the same period.
The PNP said it has accomplished 90 percent of the government anti-drug efforts.
In Davao, Mayor Sara Duterte underwent a mandatory drug test last Tuesday in which she tested negative of any illegal drugs.
Mayor Duterte said the simple act of submitting oneself to a drug test plays a big role in the society especially with the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“We have to lead by example in our society with regard to healthy living, being clean, and not engaging in illegal drugs,” she said.
Aside from Mayor Duterte, all department heads of the City Government also submitted themselves to a random drug test.
Asked what will happen to an employee of the city hall who will test positive of illegal drugs, Mayor Inday said that they will be referred to the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council for rehabilitation.
“It will depend, if he is under contract, then we can terminate him immediately, however, we will also consider his service, we can send him to Cadac for a rehab, same as for the plantilla position,” she said.
Under the Civil Service Commission Circular no. 13 series of 2017, all government employees, plantilla or job order, shall undergo a mandatory random drug test.
The mandatory drug test among government employees is being done in close coordination with the PDEA.
Around 12,000 employees of the City Government will undergo an unannounced drug test. The drug test is not only limited to those who have offices in the city hall building but also to those in the field work.
Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe warned that efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to rid their ranks of scalawags, which is said to make up two percent of the 180,000-man force, will not succeed if it is ill-equipped and undermanned Internal Affairs Service (IAS) will not be modernized.
Poe, who has publicly declared her full support to the institutional watchdog of the police service to address misdeed in the police force, said the independent IAS is “spread too thinly and with little resources to run after policemen who have betrayed their oath and disgraced their uniform.”
“To cite an example, there are only two IAS personnel in a big city like Cebu, which is the country’s biggest metropolis outside Metro Manila. There is just one IAS man assigned in Cagayan de Oro. Zamboanga City also has one,” said Poe, vice chairperson of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs.
“Too good, these offices have IAS office, others don’t have (one). There is no IAS office in big provinces such as Agusan del Sur, North Cotabato, Saranggani, to name a few,” Poe added.
The senator said she was considering introducing an amendment to the proposed P135.8 million budget of the IAS for 2018 that will reflect appropriations to buy the necessary equipment to effectively carry out their mandate.
In addition to manpower woes, shs said the IAS has been plagued by equipment shortages, from cars to computers and even furniture.
As to manpower, Poe, citing an official PNP report to her office, said IAS only has 22 lawyers, “which cripple its ability to prepare legal briefs that are indispensable in preparing administrative cases against rogue policemen.”
“Come to think of it, there is one IAS lawyer for every 8,181 policemen. Majority of the lawyers are based in Camp Crame,” she said.
“So with this shortage in men and equipment, how can IAS effectively police the police?” Poe asked.
Under Executive Order 101 issued in 1999 to operationalize the IAS, the latter is mandated to serve as the “institutional watchdog agency” for the national police.
But such role is “subverted by the across-the-board lack in logistics and personnel,” Poe said.
“One proof of this is that since 1999, hindi pa nakatikim ng capital outlay fund ang IAS. 18 years, walang specific appropriations to buy the likes of computers,” she said.
Poe said 16 provinces have only one IAS personnel each. “Paano nya lalabanan ang mga scalawags doon kung lone ranger sya?” Poe said.
She was referring to Bohol, Negros Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Sulu, Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur, Dinagat, Agusan Norte, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and Batanes which have one IAS personnel each.
Poe said the IAS needs to be given more resources especially at this time when it has been ordered to review alleged extrajudicial killings.
As per latest report, 1,850 policemen are being probed for possible violation of procedures during anti-drug operations.
PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa was quoted as saying that at least two percent of policemen were “scalawags.”
“If that is equivalent to 4,000 men paid by taxpayers to carry guns, then that should be a great concern to citizens, and their separation from service, and prosecution, if warranted, should be a priority of General Bato,” Poe said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bam Aquino also encouraged the DILG to hasten the process of dismissing scalawag policemen from the service to stop the abuses and the killings.
As of latest data, the PNP said around two percent or 3,620 of the 181,000 policemen in the country are involved in illegal drugs.