Duterte admin ‘intolerant’ of police abuses: Palace

MANILA — The administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte is “intolerant” of the abuses being done by some policemen in pursuit of the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this comment in reaction to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed that a majority of respondents believe policemen are involved in the illegal drug trade, extrajudicial killings, and planting evidence against drug trade suspects.

“We in the Administration are intolerant with any kind of abuse coming from those whose duty is to serve and protect the Filipino people,” Panelo said in a statement.

He said the Palace is aware of the “rotten eggs” among the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) ranks who tend to destroy the organization’s integrity.

He echoed Duterte’s remarks that “there will be hell to pay” for policemen who become worse than criminals.

“While there is no denying that there are erring policemen within their ranks, the PNP has done internal cleansing efforts, such as the activation of the Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) tasked to go after policemen involved in unlawful activities,” Panelo said.

“We have also been witnesses to zero tolerance against police misfits when the cop killers of Kian de los Santos were convicted and the entire Caloocan police force was relieved,” he added.

Panelo called on SWS to conduct a survey, asking respondents about the good deeds of policemen in the drug war, citing PNP data of 165 deaths and 575 injuries on their side during the conduct of anti-drug operations.

“These figures dispel allegations of critics and detractors on legitimate drug operations and show that drug pushers and addicts actually resort to violence when confronted with a threat of apprehension,” he said.

“Indeed, illegal drugs, particularly methamphetamine or shabu, alter emotions and cause anger and fear on the part of the user so we are not dumbfounded when violent encounters ensue during police operations,” he added. EJ Roque/

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