MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano expressed doubts over the intention of the Senate justice committee in conducting a probe on officials of the Philippine National Police, who are in the frontline of the administration’s war against illegal drugs.
The senator claimed that critics of President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign are wrongfully branding drug-related casualties as extrajudicial killings.
“Are we [therefore] using the term ‘extrajudicial killings’ loosely to discredit the PNP and Duterte administration? I was hoping that we could educate the people more, para hindi sila ma-mislead na lahat ng patayan [ngayon] ay extrajudicial killings,” Cayetano said in his opening statement during the Senate hearing.
The senator added that the Senate inquiry on drug-related killings is an attempt to undermine the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“[The Filipino] people support the anti-drug war, criminals don’t. Ang mga kriminal at drug pusher ay gumagastos ngayon… sa kahit ano para i-discredit ang administrasyon na ito, para matuloy ang kanilang multi-billion na negosyo,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano noted that there was no increase in the number of killings since Duterte assumed office. He added that crime volume decreased a month after the new president took authority.
Based on data from the Philippine National Police, overall crime volume in the country dropped by 5,522 incidents after the first month of the new administration, the senator said.
“Ngayon po, the respect and fear of the law have been restored. Drug lords and their supporters are on the run. People are beginning to feel safe. [There is a] renewed trust in the government under President Duterte,” the senator said.
(This post originally appeared in philstar.com)