CHR should file cases vs police in drug war if there’s proof — Dela Rosa

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Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Thursday, March 25 dared the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to file formal criminal charges against policemen who were involved in the government’s illegal drug war operations.

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa (Senate PRIB)

Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief who headed the Duterte government’s “Oplan Tokhang” to stamp out illegal drug trade activities in the country, said the CHR should present evidence before the courts to back their allegations.

“They have been saying the same thing since 2016. It is now 2021,” said Dela Rosa when sought to comment over the CHR report on the killings related to illegal drugs.

“If they have the evidence then they should file appropriate charges in court otherwise their claims can be construed as black propaganda,” he added.

CHR Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel Gana earlier disclosed that the agency will release its report on the so-called extrajudicial killings in the country which they finished independently.

Pimentel-Gana said that based on their report—which they will publicly disclose later on—showed that the PNP used “excessive, unreasonable” force and had “the intent to kill” drug suspects during their anti-narcotics drive.

Gana said their report was based on the recent interviews that the CHR had investigated.

Based on the CHR’s findings, Gana said the commission investigated nearly 3,300 extrajudicial killings in Metro Manila, Central and Southern Luzon resulting from police operations and vigilante killings between May 2016 and March 2021.

Of the total tally, 1,912 of the people died during police operations while 1,382 others died in attacks by still unidentified assailants.

Dela Rosa, however, downplayed the CHR’s report, saying the opposition and the CHR seems to be singing the same tune.

“By mere coincidence, the CHR and the opposition are trumpeting the same tune. (Election year) 2022 is fast approaching,” he said.

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