CITY OF MALOLOS – Dismayed over Amnesty International’s accusation that Bulacan is the ‘bloodiest killing field’ in the country with regard to drug-related killings , Gov. Daniel R. Fernando immediately convened the chiefs of police in the three cities and 21 towns in the province recently at the Balagtas Hall in Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here to discuss and give light to the said allegation.
“Reports like these should be taken seriously. Kailangan nating matiyak na walang anumang paglabag sa karapatang pantao na naganap, kung legal police operations ba ‘to? Nasunod ba ang proseso sa search, seizure and arrest? At kung nabigyan ba ng due process ang mga akusado,” Fernando said.
He also stressed that the safety of the people is the priority and they should not be treated as collateral damage, which seems to be the accepted norms nowadays in some police operations.
“Gusto ko ring marinig ang panig ng PNP. Bigyan n’yo ako ng kopya ng report ng Oplan Double Barrel, list of deaths during police operations, list of deaths under investigation and solved from 2018. Maraming concerns ang ating mga mamamayan na nakakarating saken tungkol sa campaign on illegal drugs at kung may pagkakamali, aralin natin at gawan ng corrective measures. Sa iba, ‘wag naman nating samantalahin ang sitwasyon at lahat ng kaso na lang eh gamitin ang war on drugs,” the provincial chief executive added.
During the meeting, Police Colonel Chito Bersaluna, provincial director, presented the eight focus crimes or criminalities that the Bulacan PNP is strictly monitoring since July 1, 2016 up to present that includes murder, homicide, physical injuries, rape, robbery, theft, carnapping and motorcycle napping; case status; crime solution efficiency; crime clearance efficiency; average monthly crime rate; death incidents and its status.
The report showed that from 518 death incidents from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, it went down to 244 the following year and to 196 death incidents from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. The report also noted that among the death incidents from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, 66 were solved, 129 were cleared while 389 were still unsolved.
Further, from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, 73 cases were solved, 119 were cleared and 125 remain unsolved while from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, 54 cases were solved, 112 were cleared and 84 are unsolved.
“Base sa aming talaan, higit na marami tayong nahuli na matiwasay na sumuko tuwing mayroong aarestuhin at sa mga operation. Pero kung mag-offer sila ng violent resistance at gumamit ng dahas at pumutok ng baril nila nakahanda po tayo diyan. Sa isyu naman sa Amnesty International bilang dayuhang organisasyon o entity, mas mabuti pong ito ay sagutin ng mas nakakataas sa amin o ng ating gobyerno,” Bersaluna said.
In April 2019, the London-based group said it examined 20 drug-related cases in Bulacan in which 27 people were killed between May 2018 to April 2019, mostly from the marginalized and poor communities.
Fernando is a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte’s War on Drugs and an advocate of fight against illegal drugs; hence the Bola Kontra Droga Project was launched.