Drug war now wearing many faces
DU30’s “tokhang” drug war is now wearing many faces. It has been labeled interchangeably as “extrajudicial killings” and “human rights violations.” Lately, it has been exposed as a cover for abduction, kidnap, extortion and robbery, and this comes after policemen were reported to be involved in murder, kidnap-for-ransom and extortion in the name of tokhang. Doubtless, the tokhang war has been turned into a lucrative “industry” by rogue policemen.
The means and methods of police operations, the mysterious murders and disclosures of planted evidence have brought to light the abusive modus operandi of police units. The abusive boldness “displayed” with impunity by rogue policemen springs from the tolerance (or encouragement) that DU30 himself has hinted or categorically expressed in many of his statements. He has given the police more authority with his assurances that they will be protected even if he has to put his presidential seat on the line. It’s like he has clothed policemen with immunity from suit like what he has as president.
As a result, we have policemen venturing into the business of kidnap-for-ransom, murder, assault and robbery. The rot has seemingly reached alarming proportions that the current leadership of the Philippine National Police leadership has been forced to clean up the ranks.
DU30 has begun to tone down the “coddling” speeches that encouraged police abuse. But what we want to see is for him to issue a stern warning in lieu of those speeches.
The campaign against rogue policemen must show the people and the international community that DU30 means seriously to impose discipline and make our police realize that their guns and badges are there to be used to protect the people, not for banditry.
MARK E. PARAS JR. and RAMON DIÑO, firstname.lastname@example.org
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