ANTI-crime advocates on Thursday blasted human rights watchdog Amnesty International for failing to accurately provide the “real picture” on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.
Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), said the report released by Amnesty International on Wednesday focused only on human rights organizations known to be against the anti-drug campaign.
“The organization never asked the victims themselves like VACC and other organizations who are providing support to thousands of crime victims, to find out what is the real score,” Jimenez said in an interview.
“We represent the victims of crimes, we are not like those pseudo-human rights advocates that are too one-sided when it comes to the anti-drug war,” he added.
Jimenez admitted that some police officers could have been involved in criminal acts, but it would be inaccurate to conclude that extrajudicial killings were sanctioned by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“There are really scalawags in uniform and these could be those who have been charged earlier, but were able to find a way to be reinstated because of the failure of concerned government agencies to get rid of them,” Jimenez added.
As for the allegation that police are being paid to kill, Jimenez said guns for hire proliferated because of the “slow and corrupt” justice system.
No Senate probe yet
Senator Richard Gordon said he was not about to reopen an investigation into drug killings based on “hearsay.”
“If anyone will come to me and present testimonial or other solid evidence to back up an assertion, I will be the first to say, a hearing must be conducted. For to conduct a hearing based on hearsay is to expend precious government resources on mere tsismis [rumor],” he said in a statement.
But Senator Francis Escudero said an inquiry was needed to allow the international group to explain its findings and present its sources.
The senator said he was alarmed by the claim that hired killers were being engaged by the police force.
“The Senate investigation will give the PNP a chance to convey their side of the story,” Escudero said during the weekly “Kapihan sa Senado” news forum.