Davao cops to undergo vetting before resuming ‘active role’ on war on drugs

Dec. 07, 2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The Davao City Police Office said it will undergo reorientation and police officers evaluation to ensure its personnel are ready to provide active support in the war on drugs.

In a press conference City Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector, Andrea Dela Cerna on Wednesday, December 6 said that police officers should go through intensive screening.

“We will try to make sure that all policemen has no derogatory records or any connection with regards to illegal activities especially on drugs,” Dela Cerna said. Police officers that are positive in using and are involved in illegal drugs will be dismissed in service, she said.

She said evaluation and re-orientation on how to conduct anti-illegal drug operations will be conducted among police officers before deploying them to various units. .

“We do not want this to be a ‘bloody’ fight. That is why we had ‘Tokhang’, it’s one way to make this fight bloodless,” Dela Cerna said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday signed Memorandum Order No. 17 directing the Philippine National Police (PNP) to resume in “providing active support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations.”

Under the memorandum, the PDEA remains the overall lead agency in the anti-illegal drug campaign.

According to the memorandum “there has been a notable resurgence in illegal drug activities and crimes committed in relation thereto since the PNP and other law enforcement agencies were directed to leave to the PDA, as the sole agency, the conduct of all anti-illegal drug campaigns and operations.”

However, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said “the resumption of police anti-drug operations was not wholly unexpected.”

“The reactivation of police anti-drug operations requires police to first ‘consult’ with the PDEA. But the government’s failure to hold anyone accountable for the thousands of drug war deaths make it highly unlikely that the PDEA will be able to restrain well-documented police abuses,” said Phelim Kine, deputy director for HRW’s Asia Division. (With reports from Shannon Pabroa/ davaotoday.com)

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