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Police officer paid hired guns to kill suspected drug offenders —Amnesty Int'l

Amnesty International (AI) has reported that two persons have claimed being paid by a police officer P10,000 for each killing of a suspected drug offender.

In its report presented on Wednesday to the media, AI said that the two individuals it interviewed referred to the police officer as their "boss" and that they were hired to kill even before President Rodrigo Duterte was sworn into office.

"They said that before President Duterte took office, they had around two 'jobs' a month. Now, they have three to four a week," AI said in its report.

The report quoted a "male killer" as saying that all of their kill orders come through the police officer, who was not identified.

"When we're given an order, there's an envelope," the male killer said, adding that the envelope would contain their target's name, address and a picture.

"It's almost a complete profile... Someone else has already been assigned to do surveillance," AI quoted the male killer as telling them.

The male killer claimed to AI that they carry out the killings as a "riding-in-tandem hit-and-run" style.

The female paid killer added that the envelops given to them "now give a drug link" of their supposed target.

"The rate depends. For a user, it's 5,000 pesos. For a pusher, 10,000 to 15,000 pesos. It depends on the person," the female killer was quoted as saying in the report.

She added that there are times when they kill more than one suspected drug offender, they are paid "per head."

"If they work in pairs, they split the payment," AI said.


Wilnor Papa, AI Philippines campaigner, said their reports also revealed that the frequency of the killings by the unknown armed men have become more rampant when Duterte was sworn in as President.

"Dati, once or twice a month swerte na sila, ngayon umaabot ng two to four times a week ang kanilang trabaho," Papa said.

In the report, AI recalled Duterte's pronouncements, encouraging the killing of drug addicts.

It also recalled Duterte's statement that he'd "be happy to slaughter drug addicts."

Police involvement

The AI report revealed that "many drug-related killings are extrajudicial executions that directly implicate the police."

AI said its researchers interviewed 110 people nationwide, and documented 33 cases of drug-related killings, of which 20 occurred in formal police operations and 13 involved unknown armed men.

A total of 59 people have been killed in these operations, it said.

"Ang mas malalim po dito ay lumalabas kasi ang istorya nila, 'yung pinagdaanan nila. 'Yung takot na pinagdadaanan nila," Papa said.

War vs. poor

Sr. Maria Vida Cordero, member of AI Philippines Board of Trustees, urged Duterte to put an end to his war on drugs.

"The war on drugs has become war on the poor," Cordero said. "Mr. President, listen to the cry of the poor. You cannot solve a crime with another crime."

On Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday ordered the disbandment of all anti-drug units of the Philippine National Police in relation to the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, where several policemen are allegedly involved.

PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said they will focus on "internal cleansing" for the meantime with the suspension of anti-illegal drug operations.

The war on drugs of the Duterte administration, however, would continue and will now be led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. —ALG, GMA News