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Leni: PNP slowly losing public trust owing to EJKs

Agence France-Presse file photo.
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA – (UPDATED) The Philippine National Police (PNP) is slowing losing public trust with the spike in unresolved “deaths under investigation” (DUIs) and the increasing skepticism over their usual excuse that they had to kill suspects because “nanlaban [they fought it out],” according to Vice President Leni Robredo.

In a transcript of an ambush interview in Naga City furnished media, Robredo noted an  alarming number of deaths in the first six months of the Duterte administration, arising from police operations against drugs. More than the officially admitted police operations, however, there are more killings done by unknown parties - officials say these could be vigilantes or drug lords wiping out their networks - which the police have also failed to solve.

“[This is cause for concern because the police are the] law enforcement agents. [They should be the first to follow] rule of law,” Robredo said.

Robredo said that if the killings do not stop, the people’s confidence on law enforcement agencies will continue to decline. “When people are confronted with public disorder, their first instinct is to go to the police, so ideally the public trust in them should be intact," Robredo said, speaking in Filipino.

If people keep hearing the same circumstances surrounding the deaths, they will demand for answers.

Pero kapag ganitong marami tayong naririnig na kuwento na namatay sa kamay ng mga pulis at pare-pareho 'yung kwento - 3,000 deaths - iyong nangyari dahil nanlaban iyong biktima, tatanungin natin kung ano ba iyong, gaano ba katotoo na nanlaban [But when we keep hearing the same stories of people dying at the hands of policemen - 3,000 deaths - ostensibly because the  suspects fought it out, we are prompted to ask, what is this really],” Robredo said.

With this, Robredo urged the police to stop the killings and arrest and charge those responsible in order to regain public trust.

Robredo underscored that perhaps the most important thing is to restore public faith in the police, and "give us confidence that we are safe in their hands."

Robredo encouraged people to be vocal against these deaths, noting that it is more than the number of people killed during Martial Law [counted at 3,000 plus].

“In five months of the administration, almost 6,000 deaths. That is much more than the number killed during Martial Law. This must stop,” Robredo said.

Kailangan tayong maging vocal, hindi matakot. Marami 'yung nag-wa-warn sa atin, kapag tayo ay maging very vocal about this, tayo na rin ang sisirain pero hindi rin kasi puwedeng tatahimik tayo dahil sa pagkatakot [We need to be vocal and courageous. Many have warned us that if we keep talking about this, we could be the next target of demolition, but then again, we shouldn't let fear cow us into silence],” she said.

Kailangan, kailangang bigyan ng boses iyong lahat na may pangamba. Kailangan bigyan ng boses iyong outrage kasi hindi naman puwede iyong nasa tabi lang tayo pinapanood iyong nangyayari [We must give a voice to the anxious and fearful. We must give a voice to the outrage, because we cannot stand by and watch what happened],” she added.