Monday, July 25, 2016

Big kill of small fry, puny drugs haul, defies PNP rules | Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

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Yet even worse, under Duterte, police operations against illegal drugs have been marked with apparent token compliance with — or even open defiance of — the rules and protocols enrolled in the 200-page Philippine National Police Handbook PNPM-Do-Ds-3-2-13 or Revised PNP Manual on Operational Procedures published in December 2013.

Under PNP’s Handbook, Rule 7 on the “Use of Non-Lethal Weapon” prescribes a calibration of force that should be designed only to immobilize and not kill suspects all at once. “When suspect is violent or threatening, and that less physical measures have been tried and deemed inappropriate, a more extreme, but non-deadly measure can be used such as baton/truncheon, pepper spray, stun gun, and other non-lethal weapon to bring the suspect under control, or effect an arrest,” the manual states.

Even when faced with an armed suspect, the PNP Handbook says the “Application of Necessary and Reasonable Force” should mean this: “During confrontation with an armed offender, only such necessary and reasonable force should be applied as would be sufficient to overcome the resistance put up by the offender; subdue the clear and imminent danger posed by him; or to justify the force/act under the principles of self-defense, defense of relative, or defense of stranger.”

The police, the Handbook says, should pay attention to certain factors to discern “the reasonableness of the force employed.” The Handbook states: “The reasonableness of the force employed will depend upon the number of aggressors, nature and characteristic of the weapon used, physical condition, size and other circumstances to include the place and occasion of the assault. The police officer is given the sound discretion to consider these factors in employing reasonable force.”

Still and all, President Duterte himself has assured policemen and soldiers that if they should face legal suits for killing suspects, they would not have to go to jail for it because “akin ‘yun, ako mauuna sa inyo.” Presumably, he means he is ultimately responsible and he will be the first to take the blame.

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Project Tokhang under Duterte falls far behind the PNP’s prior campaign in terms of drugs seized by value and volume. In 78 months of the war on drugs before Duterte, the PNP said it had confiscated various drugs (shabu, marijuana, ecstacy, cocaine, ephedrine, as well as acetone, chloroform, rugby, etc.) worth a grand total of P24.89 billion. In contrast, Tokhang has so far netted only 230 kilos of shabu, 5,815 sachets of shabu, 13,413 marijuana plants, 138 sachets of marijuana, one tablet of Ecstasy, and no cocaine at all, among others.

Before Duterte’s war, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said that from January 2010 to June 2016, it had filed a total of 19,843 drug cases in court, while other law-enforcement agencies contributed another 81,422 cases — or a total of 101,265 cases.

Project Tokhang, according to the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) has reportedly triggered the filing of 3,477 court cases from May 10 to July 10, 2016. The PNP’s later reports on Tokhang that starts on the first of day of Duterte’s term as Commander-in-Chief of PNP do not show any updated data on cases filed.

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