Negros Oriental police welcomes CHR probe into EJKs

DUMAGUETE CITY -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Negros Oriental welcomes the investigation conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on alleged cases of extrajudicial killings (EJK) in the province since Operation Tokhang was launched in July last year.

Acting provincial police director Senior Superintendent Henry Biñas was told four policemen from Vallehermoso town are under investigation for the wounding of one person and the death of another following an alleged drug bust operation on January 17, 2017.

George Paras was killed in that operation while Jose Montemayor is recuperating at the provincial hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds on his lower body.

Montemayor claimed in an interview with the CHR last week there was no drug bust because he knows all the four policemen who were at the area last January 17 and they saw each other when he and Paras voluntarily surrendered last year under Oplan Tokhang, so why would he transact with them, if at all he is selling drugs.

Biñas called for a command conference Monday among chiefs of police from the second district at the police headquarters in Agan-an, Sibulan to brief them on the relaunching of Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded, the concept of which is almost the same with Oplan Double Barrel before.

The only difference is to encourage participation of the community, religious leaders or members of religious groups, purok leaders or barangay officials.

Biñas, however, said this is not mandatory but for the sake of transparency, the police is directed to invite the aforementioned sectors of society in their anti-drugs campaign aside from the presence of media, barangay officials, and representative from the Department of Justice during the inventory of items confiscated during the raid.

With regards to taking pictures while the buy-bust operation is going on, Biñas believes it is not advisable because it might prejudice the operation.

After Monday’s command conference with second district operatives, the next will be for anti-drug operatives in the first district, Biñas said.

During the command conference, the list of operatives was finalized.

There shall be one team each for the municipalities composed of eight members and two teams of eight members in the cities including one team from the provincial police command.

According to Biñas, background checking will be conducted on the members of the anti-drugs team, as he stressed the police means business in the war against illegal drugs. (PNA)