Interior Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno on Friday ordered Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to investigate the rash of extra-judicial killings as well as the slaying of drug suspects in police operations.
Sueno said that while President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to crush illegal drugs, he denounced extra-judicial killing as a means to attain this goal.
“This Administration will not allow vigilante killings as well as the unjustified killing of drug suspects or criminals during police operations,” Sueno said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government reminded police personnel to follow the Police Operational Procedures in apprehending, conducting arrests, raids, searches and seizures of evidence and persons involved in illegal drugs and other criminal activities.
“All vigilante killings of drug suspects and other criminals should be investigated immediately,” Sueno said.
The PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS) was also ordered to probe if any violation of human rights occurred in the conduct of police operations.
Sueno warned that police officers who will be found to have been involved in extra-judicial killings will face administrative and disciplinary action.
He also ordered de la Rosa to submit the result of the investigation to the DILG through the Office of Undersecretary for Peace and Order.
Hundreds of people have died since Duterte assumed office in May.
Police figures showed that 402 drug suspects had been killed since Duterte was sworn in at the end of June. That figure does not include those slain by suspected vigilantes.
Police raids of suspected drug dealers’ hideouts have led to near-nightly deaths.
Suspected sympathy killings by anti-drug vigilantes have also left a trail of death.