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‘Pinoys want druggies captured’

A VAST majority of Filipinos or 95 percent believe it is important that the police capture drug suspects alive, the latest Social Weather Stations survey showed.

In a survey fielded among 1,500 respondents—some 76 percent of those surveyed said it is “very important” for the police to capture drug suspects alive, while 19 percent said that it is “somewhat important.”

Only 5 percent of those surveyed said it was “not important” for them to be caught alive, with 3 percent saying that it is “somewhat not important” and only 2 percent saying that it is not at all important.

The need to capture suspects alive was the dominant opinion across all regions, covering Metro Manila and the balance of Luzon (96 percent), and the Visayas and Mindanao (94 percent).

Some 77 percent, meanwhile, said they believe the police consider it important to capture drug suspects alive, with 51 percent saying it was “very important” and 25 percent saying it was “somewhat important” to the police that they capture suspects alive.

But 23 percent said they believed that capturing drug suspects alive was “not important” to the police— with 14 percent believing it is “somewhat not important” and 9 percent saying it is “not at all important” for them.

On several occasions, Duterte has urged law enforcers to shoot criminals who resist arrest.

“If he has no gun, give him a gun,” he said on one occasion.

The September 2017 survey, conducted from Sept. 23-27 had sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages.

On Wednesday, the parents of slain teenager Kian Loyd delos Santos asked the Justice Department to criminally indict 12 more former Caloocan policemen for the killing of their son on Aug. 16.

During the continuation of the preliminary investigation, Saldy and Lorenza delos Santos sought the indictment of the additional respondents in court.

In their reply-affidavit, they appealed to the DoJ panel to deny the defense of 12 policemen that they could not be held liable for Kian’s killing.

The complainants represented by Public Attorneys Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta argued that the additional respondents were part of the police team that conducted the anti-illegal drugs operation where Kian was killed.

“It is worthy to note that the Philippine National Police [PNP], through its Internal Affairs Services [IAS] in its conduct of a motu-propio investigation of the incident against all PNP Operatives of Caloocan Police Community Precinct No. 7, found all of the herein respondents liable for the death of Kian Loyd delos Santos,” the reply-affidavit said.

“From the foregoing, the herein respondents cannot deny the fact that the PNP-IAS has ultimately ruled out their claim that their operation is a legitimate police operation,” it said.

The respondent—Police Officers 2 Arnel Canezares, Diony Corpuz and Fernan Cano; and PO1s Reynaldo Dan Blanco Jr., Silverio Garcia Jr., Ronald Herrera, Myrldon Yagi, Christian Joy Aguilar, Ceferino Paculan, J-Rossillini Lorenzo, Erwin Romeroso and Ferdinand Claro—already denied the charges in their answer filed earlier this week.

They are facing charges of murder, torture, planting of evidence and violation of domicile under Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code.

The initial complaint named only four policemen as respondents—Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, and Police Officers 1 Jeremiah Pereda and Jerwin Cruz of Caloocan City police community precinct 7. 

They also denied criminal liability in an earlier answer, claiming that they killed Kian after the student shot at them. 

The panel of prosecutors headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Tofel Austria required the 12 additional respondents to submit their rejoinder in the next hearing Friday.

A total of 16 witnesses have been presented by the Public Attorneys Office and National Bureau of Investigation to support the charges against Chief Insp. Amor Cerillo, Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, and Police Officers 1 Jeremiah Pereda and Jerwin Cruz of Caloocan City police community precinct 7.

The PAO also submitted to the DOJ panel earlier the CCTV footage in the area operated by the barangay and results of the forensic exam conducted by the PAO indicating that Kian was lying face down when shot three times—twice in his head and once at the back.

Also on Wednesday, a lawmaker appealed to the Catholic Church and other sectors to consider Malacañang’s call for community-based partnerships in the rehabilitation of drug dependents to help win President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs.

“This is the least that the Church can do for its wayward flock given the strong public support for the President’s relentless war on drugs as shown by the results of the latest public opinion tracking polls,” Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte said.

Villafuerte made the statement in reaction toMalacañang’s call to Catholic dioceses nationwide to team up with local government units and the police in the drug rehabilitation aspect of the Duterte administration’s war against illegal drugs.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella has cited as an example the agreement forged among the Novaliches Diocese, the Quezon City government, and the Philippine National Police for a community-based drug rehabilitation program covering the Batasan area.

Villafuerte pointed out the strong support for the war against illegal drugs, as reflected in this latest survey, shows that the public is aware that the country’s drug problem is serious and that the President’s tough campaign against it has generated positive results.

Villafuerte, who earlier filed a bill creating a drug rehabilitation center in his province’s municipality of Libmanan, said local government officials have “an obligation and duty to their constituents to support the President’s relentless war against narco-traffickers and their cohorts in the government and the police force.”

Villafuerte said barangay officials can also assist the national government in rehabilitating drug users by helping drug dependents who can be treated as outpatients in their respective localities. With Rey E. Requejo and Maricel V. Cruz

Topics: Filipinos , Police , Drug suspects , Social Weather Stations survey
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