Eased out of drug war, PNP also ‘EJK vic­tim’

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By MARVIN SY With Eve­lyn Ma­cairan, Edu Pu­nay, Kurt dela Peña

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. –

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