The issue on extrajudicial killings is being used loosely to discredit the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte on its vigorous campaign against illegal drugs.
Senator Alan Cayetano issued the statement even as he expressed doubts on Senate justice committee’s intention to conduct investigation against the officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP), who are in the frontline of the administration’s ongoing fight against illegal drugs.
He also opposed claims that the anti-crime and -drug campaign of the Duterte administration is solely to blame for the alleged spate of murders in the country.
Cayetano stressed how critics of the Duterte administration are wrongfully branding all drug-related casualties as ‘extrajudicial killings’ (EJKs).
He even Administrative Order No. 35 under the Aquino administration, which presented a more specific definition of EJKs. Under the said order, killings involving common criminals were not classified as EJKs.
Before the Duterte administration, Cayetano said that most murders involving common crimes were merely classified as “riding-in-tandem” cases.
In fact, the senator said, of the 1,400 people killed during the Aquino administration, only 394 were categorized as EJKs.
“Are we [therefore] using the term ‘extrajudicial killings’ loosely to discredit the PNP and Duterte administration? asked Cayetano.
“I was hoping that we could educate the people more, para hindi sila ma-mislead na lahat ng patayan [ngayon] ay extrajudicial killings,” he noted.
Cayetano believed that such efforts as mere attempts to undermine the administration’s continuous campaign to end the country’s perennial problem on illegal drugs.
“[The Filipino] people support the anti-drug war, criminals don’t. Ang mga kriminal at drug pusher ay gumagastos ngayon… sa kahit ano para i-discredit ang administrasyon na ito, para matuloy ang kanilang multi-billion na negosyo,” he said.
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