MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday questioned the basis of the report of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on supposed human rights violations perpetrated in the course of the country’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
“I don’t know from what facts they (United Nations) based ‘yung ginawa (nilang report) (they based the report they have made). Kami, meron kami (We have something) (in) black and white to support our stand and we (have always) observed always human rights and the (rules) of operation of the PNP since 2016. The Bill of Rights is just right there, which the PNP observed,” said PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, in a Laging Handa briefing.
Gamboa said the international body’s accusation against the government has always been the same.
“(The) allegation of United Nations, well, ganun naman palagi sila (they are always like that). They always accuse the PNP, they always accuse the Philippine government and maraming (many) human rights violations but mind them, we have (investigated) all the operations that we have conducted and all those anomalies in the campaign, we follow procedures in dealing with them,” he added.
He also assured that the police are following procedures in anti-illegal drug operations and all those who commit violations would be punished.
Malacañang earlier refused to heed several recommendations of the UN OHCHR to improve the human rights situation in the Philippines, saying these are grounded on “faulty conclusions”.
The UN OHCHR, in its report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines, took note of the supposed widespread and systematic killings, the arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and violations of the right to health of drug offenders.
The report also focused on the “worrying new laws and amendments” to strengthen public order and counter-terrorism, “which risk eroding constitutional and other legal protections”.
Gamboa, meanwhile, said the PNP has shifted to its focus on “supply reduction” in the anti-drug campaign.
“The PNP actually evolved in the operation against illegal drugs. Ang inuna dun is to stop talaga ‘yung demand and later on, nag-evolve (Before, our priority was to stop the demand and later on, it has evolved),” he said, referring to the first strategy of the campaign which focused on street-level drug trade.
Gamboa said this is proven by the confiscation of billions of pesos worth of illegal drugs in recent police operations.
“As a matter of fact, you can see now we have apprehensions by the billions of pesos worth of drugs, which is practically supply reduction. So, (the campaign) against illegal drugs of course under the auspices of the Philippine anti-drug campaign strategy which is being supervised by DDB (Dangerous Drugs Board),” he said.
On Monday, the PNP presented a part of more than PHP6 billion worth of shabu seized in anti-drug operations from January 1 to June 4.
Last June 4, police officers arrested a Chinese national and his two cohorts and seized PHP5.1 billion worth of shabu in a buy-bust operation at a warehouse in Marilao, Bulacan.
On June 6, law enforcers seized PHP244.8 million worth of shabu in a buy-bust operation that resulted in the killing of two drug suspects in Parañaque City. (PNA)