POSTSCRIPT / August 20, 2017 / Sunday


Opinion Columnist

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Reward top PNP killing machines

SINCE 16-million Filipinos supposedly approve of the grisly anti-narcotics drive of the administration, Malacañang may want to seize the moment and launch a competition recognizing the PNP’s top “One Time-Big Time” killing machines.

(Suddenly I remember the lament of Larry Henares, the No. 1 columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer when I was its editor-in-chief, that many Filipinos don’t know how to read sarcasm. Larry was right, but this is one time when I prefer bile to blood.)

The Philippine National Police units with the highest scores can be given cash rewards based on the number and type of drug suspects killed in a 24-hour period. In addition, each team member can be given a promotion cum raise, a personal pistol & 5,000 bullets, an all-free holiday in Hong Kong with wife or girlfriend, a merit certificate and an advance pardon by President Duterte.

In tallying a team’s killing score, we suggest these weighted values:

+ If the suspect was killed while resisting arrest, 1 point; if not fighting back or while hands are cuffed or tied, 2 points; if victim is a human rights advocate, 3 points; if a woman, or anyone below 13 years of age or older than 69 years, 4 points; if victim is planted with gun or shabu/meth, 10 points.

+ If victim is a local government official, his spouse or child aged 13-up years, 10 points; if member of clergy or an evangelist, 10 points; Chinese shabu/meth lab personnel, 20 points; member of Congress or Cabinet, justice or judge, his spouse or child aged 13-up years, 20 points; a drug lord on Duterte’s narc blacklist, 30 points & solid gold medal.

The race for recognition as PNP “Top Killer Units” contributes to the government’s population control program. At its peak, considering the incentives, the contest could neutralize 100 suspects per day per competing unit.

It would also reduce poverty and unemployment by cutting the number of those complaining of being poor and jobless. The drug drive generally hits the poor, thereby helping depopulate the slums and depressed areas.

• PNP has restored death penalty

THE KILLING spree has saved time and money for the Congress, which is still debating the restoration of the death penalty.

Throwing due process to the wind, the PNP has responded to the call of duty, reinstating capital punishment by mere order of the Commander-in-Chief, and functioning as Judge-and-Executioner of the scums of society.

There is nothing alarming about the PNP being both judge and executioner. As Lord Eddard, the head of the House of Stark in “Game of Thrones” said after beheading somebody, “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”

(If the Congress finally decides to restore the death penalty, it should make Eddard’s rule mandatory for “hanging judges.” No one should mete out a death sentence that he himself is not willing to carry out.)

In fairness to police units that were early at the starting block this month, as if to comply with secret instructions, the search for the PNP’s “Top Killer Units” should be reckoned from Aug. 1, 2017, to include them.

At this stage, the front-runner is the Bulacan PNP command that terminated 32 drug suspects on Aug. 16 in 66 coordinated raids in the province without as much as a scratch inflicted on its men.

The Manila police moved the next day, killing 25 suspects in 40 raids in Moriones, Tondo, Malate, Ermita, Sampaloc, Sta. Ana, Pandacan, Meisic and the Central Market. Only 15 of the fatalities, however, were tagged as drug pushers, with the rest linked to other dastardly acts.

Jubilant over the impressive jumpstart of the rejuvenated killing rampage, President Duterte encouraged his police to go and shoot more people, including judges and human rights activists who “obstruct justice.”

• Require raiders to wear body cams

SERIOUSLY NOW, with the families of many Extrajudicial Killing victims claiming their kin were neither drug pushers nor users, never had or used a gun, etc., the PNP should issue clear guidelines on what innocent people must do or not do if caught in a raid.

Should they try to escape or stay put? Would scampering justify their being arrested or shot? If they stay, should they lie down, sit or stand? What do they do with their hands? Won’t yielding place them in graver danger of being manhandled, manipulated or shot?

What is the proper reaction of innocent civilians in the area if there is a commotion, lobbing of grenades, and/or firing of shots?

If civilians follow PNP guidelines, are they assured of not being shot or injured by the police? Such guidelines may not be enough to guarantee that innocent parties are left unscathed, but they or their families will have basis for complaining later.

Will it help if one executes a notarized sworn statement – which he will always have with him – affirming that he does not possess any illegal substance nor carry a gun, and that in case of an incident with the police he will never ever grab a gun, resist, or fight back?

These dire possibilities highlight the fact that life in da Pilipins is no longer fun, but full of grim uncertainties, even when dealing with the authorities. We parents worry for our children when they venture out of the house and risk becoming another Kian Loyd Delos Santos.

From their side, the PNP should publish their Standard Operating Procedures for raids, so the public could understand better what is going on and enable them to cooperate with the police.

A strict rule should be for all members of a raiding team, including the leaders and assets, to wear fully functioning body cameras. Security or CCTV cameras in the target area must not be disabled. The absence of body cameras or the disabling of CCTV equipment should be proof enough that a raid is questionable.

As for the use of search or arrest warrants, these are already covered by existing laws, rules and procedures.

(First published in the Philippine STAR of August 20, 2017)

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