PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar this week disputed claims by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of continued Kian de los Santos-like killings as a result of the government’s war on drugs four years after the teenager was shot dead in Caloocan City.
The top cop likewise assured that there is no such policy of killing in the drug war as he maintained that the policemen accused of killing the then 17-year-old de los Santos in Bgy. 160, Caloocan City on the evening of August 16, 2017, have all been convicted of murder by the court.
The now dismissed policemen Arnel Oares, Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz were found to have lied about the circumstances of the boy’s death which they all claimed to have been as a result of an anti-narcotics operation and were convicted of murder on November 29, 2017, by the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court.
“While the case of Kian delos Santos was one of the lowest points of the PNP, it also showcased the strong resolve of the police organization to clean our ranks and initiate aggressive reforms to further institutionalize transparency and accountability,” said Eleazar.
“Napanagot na natin ang mga pulis na nasa likod ng pagpatay kay Kian delos Santos at patuloy pa rin ang agresibo naming kampanya laban sa mga tiwali sa aming hanay at patunay dito ang mahigit limang-libong pulis na natanggal na sa serbisyo simula noong 2016,” he added.
Based on PNP data, more than 5,000 policemen were dismissed from the service since 2016 for various grave offenses they committed while the PNP was intensifying its campaign against rogues in uniform under the Duterte administration.
Aside from dismissal, thousands more were suspended, demoted and were punished with forfeiture of salary for various minor offenses.
“I would like to reiterate and assure the CHR that it is not and has never been the policy of the PNP to kill in its anti-illegal drug operations. Malinaw din naman ang instruction sa atin ng Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte na gawin kung ano ang nakasaad sa batas subalit kung nalalagay na sa alanganin ang buhay ng pulis ay dapat proteksyunan namin ang aming sarili,” Eleazar said.
“The case of Kian will serve as a constant reminder to all our personnel that we will never tolerate wrongdoings and abuse the power that was given to us by the Filipino people whom he vowed to serve and protect,” he explained.
The top cop likewise assured that possible irregularities in anti-illegal drug operations are immediately investigated because the PNP has no tolerance for police misconduct.
The PNP chief at the same time appealed to the public to continue to trust the Philippine justice system.
“Hindi kinukunsinti at patuloy ang PNP sa pagsasampa ng kasong administratibo at kriminal sa mga police personnel na abusado o tiwali. Ako ay umaapela sa publiko na magtiwala sa justice system ng bansa dahil ito ay gumagana at patuloy na nagbibigay ng katarungan at proteksyon sa mga naaagrabyado,” he said.