MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan on Wednesday said the organization under his watch will not allow human rights violations in the implementation of the government’s anti-drug campaign.
“First, we follow specific operational procedures. Second, we use our common sense. That’s why in all our dealings, in all our activities, whether in law enforcement, administrative, or not we always stick to SOPs (standard operating procedures), procedure and protocols,” Cascolan said in an ambush interview after the Bida Disiplina program in Camp Crame, Quezon City, reacting to the United Nation’s request to revoke the drug war policies.
“There is no room for violation of the rule of law or violation of human rights,” he added.
During the 45th Human Rights Council session in Geneva, UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights Michele Bachelet appealed to the Duterte administration to remove the policies including the bloody drug war which led to the increasing deaths in the Philippines.
Bachelet said the anti-narcotics campaign resulted in killings as well as other human rights violations.
Under his watch, Cascolan said the drug war will focus on going after high-value drug targets. Cascolan, former PNP deputy chief for administration, was involved in creating the police’s Project Double Barrel which included the controversial “Oplan Tokhang.”
Oplan Tokhang was tagged in the killing of several small-time drug pushers.
According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s Real Numbers, a total of 5,810 people were killed in anti-drug operations since President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war began four years ago.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.