Greater impunity in PH with promotion of police officers responsible for killings

Karapatan deplored today the recent promotions of two police officers accused of being responsible for extrajudicial killings in line with Duterte’s drug war in Caloocan City as “clear indications of the worsening climate of impunity in the country.”

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said that the promotions of Senior Supt. Chito Bersalun, previously the police chief of Caloocan City, as Bulacan police provincial director, and Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo, formerly chief of the Northern Police District in Metro Manila, as chief of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol are “proof of how the Duterte government rewards the most avid implementers of its murderous war on drugs.”

Bersalun and Fajardo were implicated in cases of killings in Caloocan City, including that of Kian delos Santos, 17, Carl Anthony Arnaiz, 19, and Reynaldo de Guzman, 14.

In April 2018, Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, then police director for the National Capital Region where most killings were reported, was promoted as chief and director general of the Philippine National Police, while Chief Supt. Camilo Cascolan, allegedly the architect of the operational plan of the anti-drug campaign, “Double Barrel,” was promoted to replace Albayalde.

“Just like how Duterte has coddled the likes of military general Eduardo Año, whom he assigned as the AFP Chief of Staff and now the current Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, he reinforces the repressive system that rewards butchers and human rights violators, instead of punishing and bringing them to justice,” Palabay said.

“With these acts, Duterte once again proved that he is ultimately responsible for the killings of thousands in his defective drug war,” she concluded.

For reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 09173162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 09189790580