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Refresher course on human rights set for Caloocan City Police


By Aaron Recuenco

Policemen assigned to the Northern Police District would be subjected to a two-day refresher course on human rights amid a public backlash against anti-drugs war following the execution-style death of a 17-year-old boy in Caloocan City.

Philippine National Police and Comission on Human Rights (Manila Bulletin file photo)

Philippine National Police and Commission on Human Rights (Manila Bulletin file photo)

Chief Supt. Dennis Siervo, head of the Philippine National Police Human Rights Affairs Office (PNP-HRAO), said the first scheduled seminar is on September 12 and 13 and the target participants are officers and personnel of the Caloocan City Police.

“This is to enhance their knowledge and increase awareness on the application of relevant national and international human rights laws, principles and standards,” Siervo said.

It was recalled that it is three of the personnel of the Caloocan City Police who are directly being linked to the death of Kian Lloyd delos Santos who was allegedly executed during the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations two weeks ago.

The incident triggered a public outrage after its witnesses and some evidence belied the report of the policemen that delos Santos shot it out with them.

The gun and the shabu seized from him were also allegedly planted by the policemen to make it appear that it was a legitimate operation.

This is not the first time that the some officials of the PNP tried to inject the aspect of the respect on the human rights in the conduct of the anti-drugs war.

Last year, Director Oscar Albayalde coordinated with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for a regular reminder for policemen assigned at the National Capital Region Police Office.

The NCRPO-CHR coordination, however, was overshadowed by the continuous cases of deaths both in the legitimate police operations and those being linked to vigilante groups as well as pronouncements of some top officials hitting human rights advocates.

Siervo said that while necessary mechanisms have long been set in place to ensure that policemen would respect the rights of even suspected criminals, there is still a need to conduct refresher courses for policemen especially those engaged in anti-drugs and criminality operations.

“This is also aimed at improving professional competencies and enhance level of cooperation between investigators and custodial officers of the PNP,” Siervo said.

More than 3,500 people were already killed in legitimate police operations in the conduct of anti-drugs war since July 1 last year. More than 14,000 people were also reportedly killed but the PNP said only a few of those deaths are related to illegal drugs.

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