Amid the government’s ongoing drug war, Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso ordered the Manila Police District to chase drug suspects but respect their human rights.
Domagoso said his policy and guidance in implementing the campaign against the illicit drug trade is just simple—go after all those selling drugs..
But the young mayor said the drug suspects’ rights should be respected in the campaign against illegal drugs.
He warned that pushers and dealers have no space in Manila.
“But let us respect their human rights,” he said.
He also said the state should treat and help victims of drug pushers including drug addicts and drug suspects.
“The state should treat and take care of them,” the Manila mayor said.
In responding to the how he can ensure fewer killings linked to the war on drugs in Manila, Moreno replied: “The crimes and killings, I cannot guarantee because it can happen anywhere in this world.”
While maintaining that his administration will not tolerate illegal drugs, Domagoso said he has issued an order to the MPD to hunt down drug lords, drug peddlers and users.
He vowed to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs as long as it is within the bounds of law.
But he also aired his concerns on drug users, saying they should be treated, rehabilitated and afforded the opportunity to go back to society and lead a productive life.
He noted that they will not tolerate police abuses such as incidents of “nang-agaw ng baril.” “Meron dyan, tumalon daw mula sa police car, unang bumagsak ang ulo,” he said.
The mayor believes drug suspects should be arrested, not killed, to face charges in court.
Based on police records, since the Duterte administration launched its bloody drug war, majority of the killings related to illegal drugs happened in Manila, making the country’s capital a virtual “killing field” of drug pushers and users.
At the same time, he called on all those involved in illegal drugs to leave Manila as they will be hunted.
“Not in Manila. Don’t do it in Manila. We will go after you and find you. We will chase you,” he said.
In wooing voters to support his mayoral bid, Moreno hopes policemen will employ high tolerance in the drug campaign.
Acknowledging that both the policemen and drug suspects enjoy human rights to keep themselves safe, Moreno said that in making arrests, there should be proportion in the application of force.
Moreno has recognized that the right to life and due process of both criminals and policemen should be respected in the campaign against drugs.
In defending the right to live of those involved in illegal drugs since he believes that only God has the right to end lives, Moreno also said policemen have the right to protect themselves from armed suspects.
“Policemen also have human rights,” he said.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported that the number of drug suspects killed in anti-drug operations has reached 5,526 — lower than the June 2019 report of the Philippine National Police which stated that 6,600 persons linked to illegal drugs were killed from July 2016 to May 2019.
In addition, PDEA said 193,063 drug suspects have been arrested in 134,583 operations conducted nationwide.