Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) — In a bid to allay public fears of falling victim to extrajudicial killings, the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said there has been no such killing under the Duterte administration.
“The possibility of them becoming victims of EJK is very remote, if we based it on facts and not on impression/perception,” PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos said in a statement.
“To allay/remove their fear of becoming victims of EJK, let it be known that under the present administration, there is only one (1) case of extra-judicial killing or EJK for the period 01 July 16 to 30 Sept 17,” Carlos added.
Carlos later corrected himself, saying “there is no confirmed EJK case yet. I stand corrected.”
The PNP was reacting to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey where seven in 10 or 73 percent of respondents said they are worried they or someone they know may be a victim of extrajudicial killings.
The non-commissioned poll was conducted from June 23 to 26, with 1,200 respondents and a margin of error of ±3 percent. The results were released Thursday.
Meanwhile, 63 percent of the respondents said the government is serious in addressing extrajudicial killings.
Local and international human rights groups claim thousands have died as a result of the drug war’s alleged extrajudicial killings. The government has repeatedly denied this.
Critics have said Duterte, in strongly-worded public pronouncements, ordered or encouraged policemen to kill drug users. Duterte even offered cops promotions or pardon in case they are convicted in the performance of their duties.
Malacañang has always said there are no state-sponsored killings and that it will investigate authorities who violate and abuse their power.
The PNP said over 3,800 suspects have been killed in police operations since July 2016, while over 109,000 suspects were arrested alive, now facing drug charges in courts.
The government, however, recently rejected 154 of 257 recommendations by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) aimed at improving the country’s human rights situation. Some of these recommendations pertain to investigating alleged extrajudicial killings.
Senator Leila de Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration who is detained over drug charges, has filed a bill seeking to end alleged extrajudicial killings.
Senate Bill 1197 defines extrajudicial killing as “the unlawful, and deliberate killing of targeted individuals or groups thereof, carried out by agents of the State and under its order or acquiescence in lieu of arrest, investigation and prosecution.”
“Extrajudicial killing includes summary killings perpetrated by private individuals for purposes of carrying out on their own or in the context of vigilantism, a campaign or policy of the State,” it further states.
CNN Philippines’ Eimor Santos contributed to this report.
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