Malacañang has kept mum on a report that police anti-narcotics operatives in Metro Manila were using hospitals to hide executions of suspected drug pushers.
In a radio interview, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said Malacañang was leaving the matter to the Philippine National Police (PNP) as it was responsible for the anti-illegal drug operations.
“We will not make any comments regarding that matter,” Abella told government-run dzRB radio.
“The PNP has already answered this matter and we defer to their answer,” the Palace official added.
Reuters news agency reported that police officers have been sending victims to hospitals to avoid crime scene investigations and attention from the media that may show evidence the suspected drug personalities were not killed in armed encounters.
It noted that some of the drug suspects were shot at close range and sustained fatal wounds on the head and chest.
The report said of the 301 drug suspects taken to hospitals in Quezon City and Manila, only two survived while the rest were declared dead on arrival.
PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa has denied the report, saying that the international news agency was finding fault in the police organization.
“I ask Reuters: What do you want us to do? Leave the person to die? You don’t want us to rescue the living, save that person and bring him to the hospital?” de la Rosa said in a television interview.
“The PNP is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. Reuters is really looking for fault,” he added.
Based on PNP records, 3,151 people have been killed in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to June 13, 2017.
And, out of 9,432 homicide cases from July 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, a total of 1,847 cases or 19 percent were found to have been drug-related.
A total of 5,691 cases or 60 percent, meanwhile, are still under investigation.