By Martin Sadongdong
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Police General Oscar Albayalde criticized on Monday the results of the latest survey released by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) saying that majority of Filipinos are worried they, or someone they know, would become victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
In particular, Albayalde pointed out that the survey wrongly presented a question which “cannot be validated by respondents without keen awareness or understanding of EJK as we know it from Administrative Order No. 35 Series of 2012 by President [Benigno Simeon] Aquino [III].”
According to the SWS survey conducted from December 16 to 19, 2018, 78 percent of the 1,440 respondents were worried that they or anyone they know could become a victim of EJK. This was higher than the 73 percent recorded in June 2017.
In the survey, Albayalde said the respondents were asked the question: “Gaano po kayo nangangamba na kayo o sino mang kilala ninyo ay maging biktima ng ‘extrajudicial killing’ o EJK?” (How worried are you that you or someone you know might become a victim of extrajudicial killing or EJK?).
“I take the latest survey results on public perception to alleged extrajudicial killing with a full cup of salt. It shouldn’t be surprising that 78 percent are afraid of getting killed. Who isn’t afraid to die, anyway?” Albayalde said.
“I do not want to dispute the statistics derived by SWS except that there is something amiss with how the questions were framed in relation to the perception of alleged police involvement in illegal drugs and alleged EJK,” he added.
Administrative Order No. 35 Series of 2012 states that extrajudicial killings are defined as those committed by “security establishments of the State and non-state forces” to silence “through violence and intimidation, legitimate dissent and opposition raised by members of the civil society, cause-oriented groups, political movements, people’s and nor-government organizations, and by ordinary citizens.”
“The question itself parang medyo mali naman kaagad (it appears there’s something wrong with how the question was presented),” Albayalde said.
“Everybody would be scared of course. Like what I have said, who is not afraid of dying? Who is not afraid of getting victimized by crime? Probably everybody is afraid of being victims of crimes, of getting killed, right? That’s why the question itself… this is what we’re saying,” he said in Pilipino.