NOVEMBER 14, 2019 – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has agreed with the vice president to re-assess its brutal and bloody anti-illegal drugs campaign, Leni Robredo said on Thursday hoping to eliminate the “senseless killings” in the drugs war.
Robredo, who is also co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD), said she had met with acting national police chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa and other officials to convey her concerns on how the police was carrying out its anti-illegal drugs operations.
She said she pushed the idea of a “more effective campaign,” and improve “Tokhang” operation because it had acquired a negative connotation.
“They promised to assess and come up with an improved version of what we already have,” Robredo said after meeting the ICAD’s law enforcement cluster.
“They agreed na panahon nang i-reassess papaano siya makaka-evoke na kampanya ito hindi against sa tao pero kampanya ito ng tao,” she added.
Robredo has accepted her designation to co-lead the ICAD in a bid to save innocent lives and hold perpetrators of alleged corrupt practices accountable.
The campaign has been criticized in the past three years due to alleged extrajudicial killings and for appearing to target only poor communities.
In 2017, the Philippine National Police temporarily suspended all its anti-drug operations following the killing of South Korean businessman Ick-joo Jee by alleged rogue cops inside the Camp Crame and teen killings.
Duterte also signed a memorandum ordering the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to lead the campaign.
Two years after, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to approve a resolution filed by Iceland to look into the human rights situation in the Philippines due to the government’s brutal and bloody war on drugs policy.
Over 5,500 drug suspects were killed since 2016, the PDEA said, but human rights groups alleged the death toll could be as high as 27,000. (Karen Macalalad / MM)