Tag Archives: Ronald dela Rosa

[From the web] New Philippine Prison Chief Threatens Killings of Jailed ‘Drug Lords’ ,Dela Rosa Already Linked to Alleged Crimes Against Humanity-HRW

New Philippine Prison Chief Threatens Killings of Jailed ‘Drug Lords’
Dela Rosa Already Linked to Alleged Crimes Against Humanity
By Phelim Kine
Deputy Asia Director
Human Rights Watch

The Philippines’ new Bureau of Corrections Director Ronald Dela Rosa has a killer attitude toward his new job.


Dela Rosa, who retired last month as director general of the Philippine National Police, exhorted prison guards this week at Manila’s New Bilibid Prison to summarily execute imprisoned “drug lords.”

“You’re afraid of drug lords? If they can kill you, you can also kill them because they’re in prison. You’re afraid of dying? I hate cowards,” Dela Rosa told guards according to press accounts.

Dela Rosa’s comments were no surprise. As police chief, he deployed the forces that have waged President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs.” That campaign has targeted mainly urban slum dwellers and resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 suspected drug dealers and users, including children, by police and police-backed vigilantes.

Dela Rosa was an enthusiastic supporter of the anti-drug campaign, which Duterte launched after taking office in June 2016. He rejected concerns about the soaring death toll of the police operations, saying the deaths were proof of an “uncompromising” police approach to drug crimes. He slammed calls by lawmakers for an investigation into the killings as “legal harassment,” saying it “dampens the morale” of police officers. He has rejected calls for accountability for the drug-war deaths, and has said he is willing to face prosecution for his role. Dela Rosa, Duterte, and other top officials implicated in inciting and instigating the killings of drug suspects are facing heightened international scrutiny for their role in possible crimes against humanity.

Dela Rosa’s comments suggest he will apply the same disregard for rule of law and accountability that defined his tenure as police director general in his new role as head of the Bureau of Corrections. But he should be on notice that the International Criminal Court has begun a preliminary examination into the drug war killings, and would likely consider any extension of that deadly campaign into Philippine prisons. And any such killings will also likely add to growing momentum inside the United Nations for a separate UN inquiry. These developments suggest that sooner or later, Dela Rosa may be held to account for his ongoing role in the bloody campaign he continues to zealously endorse.

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[From the web] Philippine Officials Shrug at Surge in Drug Killings Police Admit Dozens Killed Since New President Took Office- HRW

Dispatches: Philippine Officials Shrug at Surge in Drug Killings
Police Admit Dozens Killed Since New President Took Office
By Phelim Kine, Asia Deputy Director, Human Rights Watch

200px-Hrw_logo.svgPhilippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, provides cold comfort for Filipinos aghast at the surge in police killings of suspected drug dealers and drug users since President Roderigo Duterte took office on June 30.

Dela Rosa, on July 11, slammed calls for a Senate probe of those killings as “legal harassment” and said it “dampens the morale” of Philippine National Police personnel. Dela Rosa’s dismissal of concerns about the rising police killing body count of suspected drug dealers and users should come as no surprise with those familiar with the speech he made on July 2, when he warned that police officers linked to drug dealers should “surrender in 48 hours or die.”

Statements from other law enforcement officials in the Duterte administration show similar disdain for basic rights. Solicitor General Jose Calida, on July 11, defended the legality of the killings, saying that the number of such deaths were “not enough.”

The police have admitted killing several dozen suspected drug dealers and users in the first four days after President Roderigo Duterte assumed office. The Philippine Daily Inquirer is publishing a daily “kill list” and has tallied 72 police killings from June 30 to July 7 and an additional 35 such killings over the weekend of July 9-10. Police have attributed the killings to suspects who “resisted arrest and shot at police officers,” but have not provided further evidence that they acted in self-defense. That death toll compares with police statistics that indicate a total of 68 police killings of alleged illegal drug suspects from January 1 to June 15, 2016.

A credible and independent inquiry into the alarming increase in police killings is urgently needed, and the findings made public.

The rise in police killings follow Duterte’s June 30 inauguration speech when he identified illegal drugs as one of the country’s top problems and vowed his government’s anti-drug battle “will be relentless and it will be sustained.” Duterte gained notoriety during the campaign for advocating extrajudicial killings as a crime-control method, promising at one point the mass killings of tens of thousands of “criminals,” whose bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers, a nongovernmental organization that provides free legal services to victims of alleged human rights abuses, described the recent surge in police killings of criminal suspects as “apparent serial summary executions” and called for them to stop.

The spike in killings of drug suspects places an extra burden on the administration to ensure police act within the law. The government, starting with Duterte, should loudly make clear that the police need to respect the rights and protections of all criminal suspects all the time.