Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday (March 6) criticized retired policeman and alleged DDS member Arthur Lascañas for speaking about the effectivity of the current anti-drug war while admitting that he does not have the expertise and experience in conducting national operations.
Lascañas, during the Senate public inquiry, said that based on his experience in Davao, there were casualties in almost every anti-drug operation that they carried out.
“Around the world po, sa police, nakikita nyo rin naman sa Amerika, sa pulis may lumalaban din at bumabaril din kapag sa droga. Bakit niyo sasabihin sa Pilipinas, halos walang lumalaban,” Cayetano pointed out.
“Sabi niyo po kanina, halos lahat ng operation, kailangan may patay. Ganoon po ang tema ninyo kanina,” the senator said during his interpellation of Lascañas.
Cayetano cited PNP records showing that around 1 out of 20 police operations or only five percent of the total operations have produced casualties. It is not highly irregular contrary to what human rights critics are saying, he stressed.
Since July 1, 2016 to January of this year, there had been 43,593 anti-illegal drug operations conducted by the PNP. In total, 2,555 drug suspects were killed in these legitimate operations.
“Kapag laban kay President Duterte, kapag laban sa kanyang anti-drug war, may sagot na kayo kaagad na hindi effective,” Cayetano said.
“One out of 20 lang ang may patay. Five percent. So yung pinapalabas na lahat ng operation may patay… hindi totoo iyon because of the 43,593 operations, only 2,555 [had casualties],” he added.
Cayetano also pointed out that since President Duterte assumed office, the government’s anti-drug operations had intensified.
He cited that from January 2010 to June 2016, there were only 93,197 operations overall. “In six months alone of the Duterte administration, there were 43,593. Kalahati na po sa six months pa lang,” he cited.
PNP meanwhile assured the Senate Committee that they are already conducting investigations on possible abuses of their personnel during operations. According to PNP-Internal Affairs Services, out of the 1,785 police operations they have been investigating since July 2016, 1,123 personnel have been asked to account for their actions while 851 face pending investigations.