CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) on Thursday rejected the declaration of the human rights group Amnesty International that Bulacan is now the country’s “bloodiest killing field” in line with the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Napoleon Coronel, PRO-3 regional director, said the anti-illegal drug operations in Central Luzon is not only in Bulacan but also in the whole region, with his directive that it must be done in accordance with the law and with the utmost respect for human rights.
“Our anti-illegal drugs operations in Region 3 have not solely taken its toll on slain drug pushers and users who died during legitimate police operations. The men and women in uniform are also susceptible and their lives are at risk,” Coronel said.
He cited records that from the start of Project: Double Barrel program in July 2016 up to the present, four police officers died while 12 seriously injured during anti-drug operations in Central Luzon.
“As law enforcers and agents of the state, our primary duty is to serve and keep our communities safe, secure and drug-free even if we put ourselves in harm’s way, and we will continue to be relentless in our campaign to rid Region 3 of illegal drugs as we vow to uphold the rule of law at all times,” he said.
Coronel reiterated that they do not condone any illegal act of their members especially during the anti-illegal drugs operations.
He said as part of the PNP internal cleansing program from 2016 up to the present, at least 40 police officers who were involved in drug-related activities were already administratively charged.
Out of that figure, 35 of them were dismissed from the service, and five were suspended, he said.
The police official appealed for support and understanding from the public, noting that the fight against illegal drugs is a shared responsibility.
“It is the fight of the people and the police are the front liner in waging these people’s fight. Let us all unite to win the war against illegal drugs,” Coronel said.