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Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has filed a resolution calling for a probe into the accuracy of the “drug watch list” being used by the Philippine National Police as reference for its illegal drugs crackdown.
In Senate Resolution No. 342 filed last month, Trillanes urged the Senate public order committee to conduct the investigation to ensure “that no person shall be killed due to invalidated and unverified information.”
“[The] ‘drug watch list,’ instead of being a mechanism to prevent further criminality in the country, may have become an arbitrary hit list, with people whose names were inadvertently or maliciously included in the list ending up being killed,” said Trillanes, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The senator cited the case of 19-year-old Raymart Siapo, who was abducted by unknown gunmen in March.
Siapo, born with club feet, was reportedly taunted to run before being shot to his death. Two sachets of shabu were supposedly recovered from his body.
According to Siapo’s mother, Luzviminda, her son’s name appeared on the list of drug suspects in a community blotter after he had an altercation with the neighbors.
In August last year, Duterte read out a list containing the names of local government officials, judges, and retired and active police officers who were supposedly involved in illegal drugs trade.
In January, then Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno said the drug watch list will be handed over to the PNP’s regional directors, who also act as vice-chairpersons of the Regional Peace and Order Council.
“There is an immediate need to investigate the accuracy of this ‘drug watch list’ in order to prevent cases of deliberate and/or arbitrary inclusion of innocent persons and/or mistaken identity, and look into the need to redefine the purpose of said list in the war against drugs,” Trillanes said. —LBG, GMA News
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