The Philippine National Police (PNP) reassured on Thursday that policemen are mindful of their adherence to mandated police operational procedures in fighting criminality.
The PNP leadership at Camp Crame issued the statement in response to calls by some 100 international groups, including the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission, for the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct investigations into the killings, arrests, detentions, searches, and other forms of persecution of “human rights defenders.”
The groups alleged that search and arrest warrants are allegedly being used conveniently by state forces to detain, harass, and kill activists.
“While we acknowledge the concern of these groups, we would like to assure them that the PNP has not been remiss in ensuring that police operations are legitimately conducted,” said PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar.
As an example, he added, the PNP has recently acquired body-worn cameras for its operating personnel to promote transparency and ensure that they subscribe to existing protocols in the conduct of operations.
Eleazar also earlier assured of PNP’s cooperation in the investigation of the DOJ of alleged cases of extra judicial killings in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
The PNP chief has even forwarded to the DOJ some alleged cases of killings for investigation.
Eleazar said the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS) conducts moto propio investigations on PNP operations where there were deaths, either of the suspects or of policemen.
“The IAS evaluates if there were violations in our Police Operational Procedures committed by police operatives and recommends the appropriate administrative sanctions, even dismissal from the service, if there are findings of lapses on how a police operation was carried out. The IAS can also recommend the filing of criminal charges against erring policemen,” he said.
“Our actions against policemen, proven to have veered away from our sworn duty, are swift and decisive as we have zero tolerance for law breakers in our ranks. Such is the seriousness of our commitment to get rid of criminals and rogues in the police organization,” he added.
Protect the children
Meanwhile Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana and United Nations Resident Coordinator and Co-Chair of UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (UN-CTFMR) Gustavo Gonzales and UNICEF Representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov signed a strategic plan to protect children in armed conflict.
The Strategic Plan to Prevent and Respond to Grave Child Rights Violations in Situations of Armed Conflict signed on Wednesday contains undertakings, commitments, benchmarks, and activities for the military to perform and fully comply with their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
With the plan, the military committed to strengthen the protection of children in situations of armed conflict and prevent, end, and respond to grave child rights violations and other prohibited acts. 30