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Cops paid to kill

Amnesty International (AI) came out with a startling report revealing that cops are supposedly paid from P8,000 to P15,000 for every drug suspect they kill.

The payment allegedly comes from their headquarters, although secretly, and is split among the members of their unit.

However, no money awaits them for the arrests they conducted.

The source for the AI report is a police officer, who also exposed the deal they have with some funeral parlors that pay them for each body they brought in.

The AI report is titled “If you are poor, you are killed”: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines’ “War on Drugs”.

Tirana Hassan, AI’s crisis response director, said this was not a war on drugs but a war on the poor. People accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder usually on the flimsiest of evidence.

If we were to believe the report, this would somehow explain the successive police operations that usually concluded in an encounter between the arresting cops and the suspect who either grabbed a gun from an officer or pulled a pistol out from his pocket to fight the authorities.

Over 7,000 people involved in illegal drugs have been killed since the campaign began in July of last year. More than 2,000 of these deaths were due to police operations while the rest were done by suspected vigilantes that remain under investigation.

The police have long been suspected of being behind extra-judicial killings for the war on drugs. DirectorGeneral Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, insisted there was nothing irregular in all police operations, until a Korean businessman was kidnapped and killed right inside their headquarters in Camp Crame.

One of the suspects revealed how they wrapped the head of the Korean with a packaging tape upon the orders of another cop. His description of the crime was no different from the way corpses of salvage victims were found. This only fueled the suspicion that cops were behind extrajudicial killings.

Dela Rosa is now busy cleansing the PNP of scalawags. But it will take a much longer time for them to regain public trust, especially with this revelation that AI came out with.

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SHORT BURSTS. Ronnie Estrada, a friend visiting from the US, claims former President Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s office at the city hall is now smoke-free. Last week, Ronnie visited Erap who said he had already quit smoking… For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at Tempo – The Nation’s Fastest Growing Newspaper (Robert B. Roque, Jr.)