PNP denies UN rights experts claim of ''official or institutional impunity''
The Philippine National Police ( PNP) on Monday said there’s no such “official or institutional impunity” after 11 members of the United Nations Human Rights Council called for an international probe against the government’s war on illegal drugs.
“The PNP echoes government misgivings over yet another attempt by foreign bodies to meddle into purely national affairs,” Police General Oscar Albayalde, the PNP chief, said in a press briefing.
“The UN rapporteurs' concept of "unlawful deaths" is in itself a recognition of the existence of a fully- functional justice system that determines what is lawful and what is not,” he added.
Albayalde said as far as their organization is concerned, all their actions are governed by a set of operational procedures founded on the basic principles of respect for human rights and always consistent with the rule of law.
“There’s no such official or institutional impunity. Homicide cases with all sorts of motives cannot be categorized under the war on drugs. All deaths during anti-drug police operations have been properly investigated,” he said.
“With utmost respect for human rights, the PNP upholds the rule of law, follows strict protocols in all of its anti-illegal drugs operations, and will never tolerate any wrongdoing of its personnel,” he added.
Albayalde said officers found to have violated standard police rules and procedures were charged administratively or criminally, or both, and were slapped with administrative sanctions or dismissal from the service.
Asked on their willingness to submit a document to the UN body, Albayalde said it will be up to the Office of the Solicitor General ( OSG).
“That will depend on the OSG. That is the office they communicate with, not us. It is the OSG that answers...because this is a matter of national interest,” he said.
On the drug situation, Albayalde said it is no less than President Rodrigo Duterte said it's improving.
"Although I said there are still a lot of (illegal drugs) entering the country, kilos of shabu... but if you look into our peace and order situation, because of our campaign against illegal drugs there are a lot if improvement in our peace and order not only Metro Manila but nationwide," he said.
According to the PNP chief, the crime volume dropped to more than 37-40 percent and going down.
"We cannot (make it) zero that, there will still be crimes in our country but the change and improvement of our peace and order can be felt by the people and I think based on surveys, Filipinos said they feel safer," he said.
Albayalde they are still not done with their anti-illegal drug campaign. Ella Dionisio/DMS