National Post (Latest Edition)

COURT ACQUITS 19 POLICE IN KILLING OF MAYOR IN DRUG CASE

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A Philippine court acquitted 19 police officers of the killing of a town mayor who had been jailed for alleged involvemenĀ­t in illegal drugs, a verdict that dismayed human rights advocates. The death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, pictured, in his cell in Leyte province during a 2016 prison shootout alarmed activists who have accused the government of turning a blind eye to extra-judicial executions and cover-ups in a violent crackdown on the narcotics trade. President Rodrigo Duterte, who unleashed the drug war after winning election in 2016, once promised to defend the policemen, saying he was he was ready to go to jail. Police say more than 6,100 drug dealers have been killed by officers acting in self-defence during anti-drug operations since the president took office.

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