Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar assured on Thursday, Sept. 23, that the organization is taking an active role in the review of the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
This came after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte told the UN General Assembly that he had instructed the PNP as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review the conduct of the campaign against narcotics.
The President also said that those found to have acted beyond bounds shall be made accountable before our laws.
“We have done a lot in terms of strengthening transparency and accountability in the PNP. From the immediate actions on our erring personnel, the distribution of body-worn cameras and the strong coordination with the Department of Justice for the review of cases relating to the campaign against illegal drugs, these all prove that we are not hiding anything and that there is no reason for us to do so,” said PGen Eleazar.
He said that this is actually consistent with the marching order given by President Duterte when he was appointed as the Chief PNP, which is to do what is legal and what is right.
“Makikita natin sa sinabi ng ating Pangulo na hindi niya kukunsintihin ang sino mang opisyal na umaabuso sa kapangyarihan tuwing may mga operasyon laban sa ilegal na droga. Ito rin naman ang panuntunan natin sa PNP,” he added.
PGen Eleazar said that they also made sure that all the police operations, even those not related to illegal drugs campaign, that resulted in the deaths or injuries of both the target of the operations and the police personnel are always reviewed by the Internal Affairs Service.
In this way, he said that the PNP will make sure that all personnel are following the Police Operational Procedures.
As part of the protocol, PGen Eleazar said that the PNP will submit to the decision of the Chief Executive pertaining to the release of the documents on police operations on illegal drugs.
“As a law enforcement agency under the Executive branch of the government, we are bound by time-honored protocols and these must be followed under the concept of chain of command—with the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government as our immediate supervisor and finally the President as our Commander-In-Chief,” said PGen Eleazar.