The Philippine National Police on Wednesday asked Vice President Leni Robredo to provide details on the alleged ‘palit-ulo’ scheme so that the PNP could take action and investigate.
Robredo, in a video message, adverted to instances when loved ones of drug suspects were apprehended when police couldn't get to the suspect.
The police allegedly urge the suspect to surrender before the family member is released.
“Kung merong ganitong ulat, we ask them to be more specific and let us allow those allegedly who has done this to answer for it,” PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in a press conference.
“Let us be more specific saan nangyari, sino itong mga ito,” he added.
Carlos said the ‘palit-ulo’ scheme, if true, was not condoned by the PNP.
"Ina-attach natin ito sa Oplan Tokhang which is not part of the Oplan Tokhang. Sana ay maging more specific kung nangyayari hindi yung it will appear that it is the practice which is not,” he added.
He said police officers involved in such a scheme would be investigated either by Internal Affairs Service or the local police.
“Kung may pananagutan yung pulis, bawat isang insidente na may nangyari andyan na agad ang IAS. Kasabay nyan magsasagawa ng investigation ang police station kung saan nangyari yung krimen,” Carlos said.
Robredo, in a recorded speech posted on YouTube by anti-drug network DRCNet Foundation on March 13, said the spouse or relative of a person in a so-called drug list would be taken if the person himself could not be found.
She said that because of these instances, the people have allegedly lost trust in the police.
"Some of those have told us that when there's crime, they normally go to the police. Now they don't know where to turn to. Our people feel both hopeless and helpless—a state of mind that we must all take seriously," Robredo said.
But according to Carlos, Robredo should have coordinated with their office first regarding the alleged scheme before it was made public.
“Sana nga naiparating [muna] hindi ‘yung broadcast kaagad. The same way with sinasabi natin doon sa mga ulat na paglabag sa karapatang pantao, meron ho kaming opisina para doon," he said.
“May nabanggit na 500 na kaso na paglabag sa karapatang pantao at inihain sa tamang ahensya ng gobyerno. Ang tanong is how extensive these investigations are that would warrant a case against those who made a violation. Ganun ‘yung tanong hindi ‘yung we float the numbers and then make it appear as if it is the general situation,” Carlos added.
He cited the alleged 7,000 summary killing cases being mentioned. He said of the number, 4,435 were murder cases under death under investigation and of this, 1,409 have been resolved where charges have been filed before the court.
Carlos said they have arrested 800 suspects while 500 others have been identified.
“Hindi ho natin iniwanan itong mga kasong ito pagkatapos nung tayo ay pinatigil nung January 30, nagtuloy-tuloy ‘yung imbestigasyon, pag-monitor natin ng kaso,” he said.
He said the PNP figures “have been used to represent something which is not really the entire situation.”
“We hope they present more specific details on their data. Kasi if you look at the different reports they will always say over 7,000 cases, iba-iba nagsasabi niyan,” Carlos said. — GMA News