PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde and NCRPO chief Police Director General Guillermo Eleazar look at P54.4 million worth of suspected “shabu” seized by the police from three suspects at the Victory Mall parking area in Monumento, Caloocan City, October 29, 2018. INQUIRER PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA
The guilty verdict against three policemen in the killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos will not affect the campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against illegal drugs, its spokesperson Chief. Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. said Thursday.
On Thursday, the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 125 convicted PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda, and PO1 Jerwin Cruz of murder, but acquitted them of planting evidence against the minor who was killed in a police operation.
READ: 3 policemen guilty of killing Kian delos Santos — court
“This will not cause us to waver a bit to resolve the menace in illegal drugs,” Durana said in a press briefing, although he admitted that the conviction is “probably a setback” to the agency.
Although the conviction showed irregularity in the police operation launched by operatives to Delos Santos, Durana said it did not represent the entire campaign against illegal drugs.
“This case does not define the whole picture on the way we wage the war against illegal drugs,” he said.
He also said that the conviction prove that the policemen were only guilty of murder and not extrajudicial killing (EJK).
“They were charged for murder. Walang extrajudicial killing. The fact that they were charged by the court, it’s not extrajudicial,” Durana said.
He reiterated that the term EJK has been misused since there was not even judicial killing or death penalty in the country.
Former-President Benigno Aquino III made a similar assertion by saying that there were no EJKs in the Philippines.
“If you say there are extrajudicial killings, then it means there is judicial killing. But I remember, we do not have the death penalty, so there is no judicial killing. Therefore, there is no extrajudicial killing,” Aquino earlier said.
“Clearly, there is murder, there is homicide taking place,” Aquino added.
READ: Spate of killings simply murders, not EJKs, says Aquino
Durana also emphasized that the crime of the policemen was committed “not in the exercise of state policy.”
“There was never a policy in the Philippine National Police that we will kill drug suspects unless otherwise they put up a fight and the life of our personnel are [endangered],” Durana said. /cbb
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