CHR to Duterte: 'Ninja' cops deserve due process too
The Commission on Human Rights on Sunday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte's offer of P5-million for those who could kill "ninja" cops.
While the CHR agreed that "ninja" or scalawag cops are disgraced to the Philippine National Police, but their lives are "priceless" too, said CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia.
“Ninja cops or scalawags in the police force, the Commission agrees, are a disgrace to the institution and therefore, must be removed from the service. However, like any human being, their lives are priceless too and should not be equated to any amount, however low or exorbitant it may be,” De Guia said in a statement.
She said the ninja cops' removal from service should not be by death because it promotes vigilantism and perpetuates the cycle of violence, and worse, could "breakdown" the rule of law.
De Guia said that these rogue cops should also be accorded due process.
“Affording them due process and their constitutional rights is by no means tolerance of their wrong doings nor acquiescence thereto but rather adhering to time honored principles of respect for human rights and the rule of law,” she said.
Meanwhile, Malacanang clarified that the P5-million reward that Duterte mentioned was for those who could give information on the whereabouts of the ninja cops and not to kill them.
In an interview over DZBB radio station, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the President’s word should not be taken “literally”.
“I’m sure, it’s not intended for killing, it’s only to report (ninja cops) because the President doesn’t want law enforcers violating the law. The stand of the President (against ninja cops) is clear,” Roque said.
“The term kill is only wording of the President and police officers are also armed. The message for me is that the President doesn’t tolerate those policemen who violate the law,” he added.
Duterte, in a speech in Davao City on Friday, said he would raise the bounty against the rogue cops to P5 million each from P3 million each.
“I will now raise the amount to P5 million per ninja cop. If you bring him to me dead, I will give you P5 million, no questions asked,“ he said.
Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde welcomed the higher reward, saying this could discourage ninja cops from continuing their illegal activities.
“The P5-million reward is a very strong deterrence against these few bad cops from continuously treading on their crooked path,” he said in a statement on Saturday. Ella Dionisio/DMS