Robredo calls on PNP to prove killing not a state policy

MANILA, Philippines – With the spate of drug-related deaths in the country, Vice President Leni Robredo said the burden is on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to prove there are no state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings.

"Tingin ko, obligasyon ng kapulisan na ipakita sa tao na hindi nila sanctioned 'yung ganitong mga patayan. Kasi kahit ano'ng sabi, kung iba 'yung nakikita, siyempre 'yung tanong nando'n lagi," said Robredo in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of her Metro Laylayan livelihood program visit in Barangay 181 in Maricaban, Pasay.

(I think it's the obligation of the police to prove to people that they are not sanctioned to carry out these killings. Because whatever you might say, if people see something else, questions will remain.) 

The Vice President made the statement on Wednesday, September 6, a day after a crying PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa insisted there is "no policy to kill."

It was the PNP chief's response to opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros when she said in a Senate hearing that there seemed to be a "pattern" of killings of drug suspects, citing the cases of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, among others.

President Rodrigo Duterte backed Dela Rosa's claim, accusing Hontiveros and Robredo's Liberal Party of politicizing the death of Delos Santos. 

Thousands have died in legitimate police operations and apparent summary killings since Duterte waged his bloody drug war. 

According to Robredo, several questions surrounding the government's anti-drug campaign remain unanswered. 

"Unang-una, bakit libu-libo na 'yung namatay sa kamay ng kapulisan?" asked the Vice President. (First, how come thousands have died at the hands of police?)

She said the PNP must also directly address allegations that cops are killing drug suspects to meet a quota and that they are supposedly given incentives to do so. 

"At pangatlo, napakarami na ring mga kaso na until now, unsolved pa. Hangga't hindi pa nasosolusyunan ito, hindi maaalis sa taong bayan ang tanong kung polisiya ba ito o hindi," added Robredo. 

(Third, there are many cases now that remain unsolved. As long as these remain unsolved, you cannot stop the public from asking whether or not killing is a policy.) – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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