Mayor pays P155K for slaying of drug peddlers


    Incoming Cebu mayor Tomas Osmeña said he had given more than $3,000 to police officers for killing drug traffickers, the first such rewards since president-elect Rodrigo Duterte promoted bounties for slain criminals.

    Duterte had said he would pay bounties to law enforcement officers for dead drug traffickers.

    Osmeña offered similar rewards and announced on his Facebook page on Thursday night he had paid out P155,000 ($3,300) to police who killed three men he said were drug traffickers.

    He posted a series of comments celebrating the deaths of the three men, as he lashed out at the Commission on Human Rights, a constitutionally mandated body, for investigating the circumstances of the May 28 killings.

    “CHR = Criminals. Have. Rights. (Even more than the real victims),” Osmeña wrote.

    He described one of the slain suspects, Rowen Secretaria, as one of Cebu’s biggest drug dealers. Osmena did not return calls from AFP requesting comment, and in a previous interview refused to disclose where the money for the bounties would come from.

    Duterte announced on Tuesday he would pay P3 million to law enforcers for killing drug lords, with lesser amounts for lower-ranking people in drug syndicates.

    However, Osmeña’s rewards are the first confirmation of a payment being made for killing a suspect.

    Duterte’s law-and-order campaign pledges hypnotized millions of Filipinos hoping for quick solutions to the nation’s deep-rooted problems of crime and corruption.

    However human rights groups and other critics voiced alarm that a Duterte presidency would lead to extrajudicial killings and a general breakdown in the rule of law.

    A recent spate of drug suspects being killed has deepened those fears.

    Police have confirmed killing at least 15 drug suspects, including Secretaria and his group, since May 24.

    However police have insisted all of those deaths occurred because the suspects fought back, and that there were no illegal killings.



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