Eased out of drug war, PNP also ‘EJK victim’
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima likened the Philippine National Police (PNP) to victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) at the hands of President Duterte when he decided to let the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) take over the government’s war on drugs.
In a handwritten statement, De Lima said the move by the President showed the way the war on drugs was being implemented was wrong.
“Duterte himself and his whole apparatus of terror and violence are doing it all wrong,” she said.
De Lima noted the administration has refused to listen to the critics of its war on drugs, who always emphasized the need for due process and a rehabilitative and reformative philosophy that values life and rule of law.
“Not this war against the poor and against the dignity of Filipinos,” she said.
When the President took away from the PNP the lead in the war on drugs, De Lima said it was like a relationship where the President, after using and abusing the institution, suddenly leaves it hanging and even stabbing it in the back.
“The PNP was a victim of EJK at the hands of Duterte,” De Lima said.
De Lima said the members of the PNP who committed abuses in the war on drugs should still be punished.
“They should all be made accountable for the mass murder of their fellow Filipinos,” De Lima said.
De Lima said PDEA should also be monitored closely now that it is the lead agency in the war on drugs.
According to De Lima, the PDEA also has its share of rotten eggs among its ranks and so it could also be prone to abuses just like the PNP.
De Lima urged the President to rethink his tactic against illegal drugs because it will never work, regardless of which agency is implementing it.
An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said PDEA should focus more on drug manufacturers and syndicates.
CBCP Public Affairs Committee executive secretary Fr. Jerome Secillano said PDEA should not be like the PNP that often only went after street level drug peddlers.
“Even with the PNP, the drug war hasn’t been successful. It only resulted in the death of poor people and drugs continue to proliferate,” Secillano said.
“It’s high time that they dismantle the suppliers instead of annihilating the users and pushers,” he said. –