STATEMENT: Duterte wrong in defending Albuera mayor’s killers

BAYAN Press Statement
December 8, 2016

President Duterte’s recent statements on the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, that he will not allow the policemen involved to go to jail, encourages impunity and the blatant violation of the law. It is unacceptable as it is dangerous. While the president says he will not interfere in the filing of the case in court, his repeated pronouncements that he believes the police version – despite contrary findings by the NBI – is indeed problematic. Even when faced with evidence of wrongdoing by the police, the President insists on giving them the presumption of regularity.

The message he is sending appears to be intended not just for the CIDG Region 8 operatives but to all policemen involved in the war on drugs. That no policeman who has killed a drug lord, no matter how questionable the circumstances may be, will go to jail under his watch. This has been interpreted by the police as a license to kill with impunity. That it comes a few days before Human Rights Day makes it even more tragic.

This cannot go on. The President must stop making such pronouncements that are taken as policy statements of the Chief Executive. ###