31 January 2017
The Commission on Human Rights welcomes the recent pronouncement of Chief PNP Ronald dela Rosa that all anti-drug operations shall stop nationwide while the PNP shall focus on internal cleansing. It is a recognition that the campaign is fraught with flaws and susceptible to abuse. It underscores the need to ensure a highly professionalized and competent police force that will be cognizant of the rights of the citizenry it seeks to protect. It is an acknowledgement that there are gaps in the system and there may always be those who shall advance their own selfish interests. The evil that is sought to be prevented by the Commission is abuse of power by state agents that wantonly disregard adherence to the rule of law and lack of respect for human rights.
The PNP must rise to the challenge to remain faithful to their sworn duty to serve the people and protect their rights. It cannot and should not be an instrument of abuse lest it be the oppressor instead of the protector of the people. The PNP must enforce rather than mock the law. It must gain the trust rather than instill fear. It must inspire confidence and support for rather than disillusionment with the criminal justice system. Despite this, we urge the PNP to ensure accountability for its actions, and justice for all the deaths perpetrated.
The ideal espoused by the PNP and the government regarding the eradication of drugs in the country is supported by the Commission. It shall pave the way for the fuller realization of human rights. The campaign may be successfully carried out without the need to resort to extra-judicial killings. It must be carried out without allegations of corruption and abuse of power by law enforcement. The key to the drug problem and criminality is effective law enforcement. Modernize the PNP, improve its facilities, adequately equip and train its personnel and increase their salaries but in return, the PNP must be reminded that they are the embodiment of the law they seek to enforce. They must at all times be above reproach.
Atty. Jacqueline Ann C. de Guia
OIC, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Office
Telephone No: (02) 528-5792 / 09175919833
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org