Press Release
January 26, 2017

Hontiveros to PNP: How can you implement war on drugs when you can't control your own men?

(Senator Hontiveros during the hearing of Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, photo by Joseph Vidal, Senate PRIB)

"Lumalabas na walang kontrol ang PNP superior officers sa kanilang mga subordinates, tapos gusto nilang ituloy ang war on drugs?"

This was the statement issued today by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros during today's Senate's investigation on the kidnapping and murder of a Korean national involving members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Hontiveros made the observation after PNP Chief Ronaldo Dela Rosa admitted that many police senior officers are afraid of their subordinates.

"Masakit man sabihin pero inaamin ko na marami kaming junior officers na siga, bastos, undisciplined... depende sa degree of influence," Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa made the remark after he was quizzed by Hontiveros on why Senior Police Officer4 (SPO4) Roy Villegas is afraid of Senior Police Officer3 Ricky Sta. Isabel. The PNP Chief said that Villegas was merely following the instructions of Sta. Isabel regarding the incident.

Hontiveros however said that this could also be an excuse to downplay the existence of a conspiracy involving high and low police officers in the kidnapping and murder of the Korean national. "Both can be true. Some PNP superior officers may have no control over their subordinates, and in this particular case, a pathetic excuse to dismiss accusations of conspiracy," the senator said.

Hontiveros said that Dela Rosa should seriously rethink the police force's war on drugs. "The PNP Chief's admission is extremely alarming but not surprising. If PNP superiors have no complete control and influence over their subordinates, it is expected that the government's war on drugs will be gravely abused by its implementors," the senator said.

"Pandora's box of pure evil"

"The kidnapping and murder of a Korean national under so-called Tokhang for Ransom is the terrible consequence of a human rights-deficient anti-drug campaign. The government's war on drugs opened a Pandora's box of pure evil," Hontiveros added.

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