Jun 01 2016 12:00am

PNP: Anti-drug operations not meant to impress Duterte

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the series of aggressive anti-drug operations conducted recently is not meant to impress president-elect Rodrigo Duterte since the intensified campaign against criminals has been ongoing since 2014.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said the PNP has been implementing Oplan Lambat-Sibat, a set of police operation plans that seeks to address rampant criminality in the National Capital Region (NCR) and eventually in the whole country through data-driven strategies, for the past two years.

"Let us always give chance to people who perform and let us not judge our organization on things that haven't started yet. Let us give everybody a chance," Mayor said.

More than 12 suspected drug dealers were killed in a series of police operations in various parts of the country recently and some groups interpreted the crackdown as part of the efforts of officials to impress Duterte.

Mayor said the series of police operations was a result of intelligence gathering operations.

The PNP spokesman also cited the clear direction of Duterte in the anti-crime campaign, which is one of the priorities of his administration.

Mayor said one of the factors is that when policemen conduct operations, they are prone to harassment, especially counter-charges, but when they know they have the support of their superiors the morale of law enforcers is boosted.

"When we enforce the law there is nothing wrong with it. When we invigorate our operation there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes when we pursue operations there is a question," Mayor lamented. "Intensive intelligence operations of police units are part and parcel of the PNP drive."

A spate of recent criminal killings by police has spiked fears of an extrajudicial crackdown after Duterte vowed to stamp out crime by all means necessary.

Police have killed at least 12 drug suspects across the country in the past week, while vigilantes gunned down two other men linked by police to illegal drugs. Most of the suspects fell in what police described as gun battles.

Records showed that policemen gunned down four alleged drug dealers in Bulacan, four in General Santos City and two each in Manila, Nueva Ecija and Zamboanga City.

Two other drug suspects were killed by unidentified gunmen in Davao City.

An official of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) warned people involved in illegal drug operations to reform now that Duterte has been proclaimed president.

DDB assistant secretary Benjamin Reyes said the agency continues to strengthen its campaign against illegal drugs and their advocacy of encouraging drug addicts to enter rehabilitation centers. - With Robertzon Ramirez

FEEDBACK

comments powered by Disqus