Thursday, May 11, 2017

De Lima: Senate should invite Tacorda to shed light on abuses in war on drugs


Senator Leila M. de Lima has asked the Senate to look into claims by former police officer PO1 Vincent Tacorda that some of his senior officers at the Philippine National Police (PNP) have abused the government's all-out war on drugs.

In filing Proposed Senate Resolution 358, De Lima said the appropriate committee in the Senate should look into the revelation of Tacorda who was forced to resign after he can no longer tolerate the alleged police excesses in the war on drugs.

"There is a need for the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police to determine the culpability of the police officers involved in the reported irregularities," she said.

"Given the appalling numbers of extrajudicial killings and summary executions under this administration, it is imperative to check if there are abuses and excesses in the exercise of authority of law enforcement units, and to ensure that due process and rule of law are always upheld," she added.

Tacorda earlier accused former Catanduanes Police Chief Supt. Jesus Martinez and former Viga Officer-in-Charge Senior Inspector Nathaniel Jacob of ordering him to kill suspected drug pusher Samuel Rojas in Viga, Catanduanes.

Aside from being given the direct order to kill Rojas, Tacorda also confessed that there were instances when he was ordered to plant evidence to support the arrest of certain individuals.

He also alleged that when a certain Manuel "Galog" Huit Jr. was arrested, the seized shabu worth more than PhP1 million was replaced with "tawas" upon turn-over of evidence to police authorities.

"Such irregularities, if proven correct, violate the very core of good governance in the Constitution, as Article II, Section 27 provides that the state shall maintain honesty, and integrity in the public service," De Lima pointed out.

The Senator from Bicol believed that Tacorda's public confession is one of the missing links that would prove the killings in the government's all-out war on drugs are state-sponsored with President Duterte as the mastermind of all killings.

"Tacorda has said he is ready to reveal everything he knows about how the drug war was being abused," she said, citing an Inquirer report last April 30.

At least 8,000 have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took over as President in June 30, 2016. More than half of these deaths remain under investigation.

The Duterte administration, however, continued to refuse to acknowledge the state-sponsored nature of these killings, even downplaying the deaths as mere "homicide" cases. (Senate)
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