LITTLE by little and with creeping realization, people are now coming to grips with the reality that under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and his incessant campaign to wage war on drugs a climate of impunity has enveloped the country in terms of killing and ending the lives of persons and individuals whether they are guilty or not of certain crimes.
Whereas in previous administrations such kind of impunity would have been unheard of, now it would seem to have become an ordinary event for someone to be killed for allegedly resisting arrest and confronting authorities with violent force, particularly through so called drug busts conducted by the police.
One thing is certain though extrajudicial killings or EJKs as they are called seem to happen only under the watch of the Philippine National Police or the PNP and amazingly non-existent or rare in anti-drug operations conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) which is the government agency supposedly tasked and whose job is to eradicate illegal drugs in the country.
Now why is this so? Are those persons subjected to drug busts conducted by the PDEA less violent and more docile than those persons involved in buy-bust operations done by the police? Or is it a matter of social standing where affluent persons that are nabbed by the PDEA for illegal drugs would rather meekly surrender while those caught in the anti-drug operations of the PNP would rather shoot it out with the authorities rather than give themselves up because of the dire situation of their present lives where they are mired in poverty.
If such is the case then the recent surveys are correct when it came out with a report that more people now believe that EJKs to a large extent targeted the poor.
Right now reports have it that more than 3,800 people have been killed by the police since the President launched his war on drugs while more than 2,000 have been killed by unknown assailants.
With the police claiming that there is actually no EJK committed by them -going by the government’s definition of what an EJK is - then it is safe to surmise based on the statistics above that for last year alone the country had 2,000 murders which have remained unsolved and for which the PNP has failed to resolve in their favor. For this situation the PNP has miserably failed to live up to expectations through their oath to protect the lives and property of the people.
However it is quite understandable for the PNP to have acted the way it did given the blessings and sanction granted them by this present administration to go all out in the war on drugs.
The killings done by the PNP whether justified or legitimate as they claimed only gives face to what the President has already repeatedly said, during his campaign and now as head of the country, that he will end the life of those involved in illegal drugs.
This is impunity plain and simple.