MANILA – Amnesty International tagged Bulacan as the “bloodiest killing field” in the country following an increase in the number of killings due to the administration’s “war on drugs.”
According to the London-based group, the increase in drug-related killings in Bulacan was possible by the transfer of a number of Metro Manila-based police officers to the province.
“Located just north of the capital, Bulacan is a province to which a number of police commanders who previously supervise abusive operations in Manila have been transferred over the past 18 months,” Amnesty International said.
“Bulacan is now the country’s bloodiest killing field, according to official figures,” it added.
The group said it examined 20 drug-related cases in Bulacan last April in which 27 people were killed. The investigation showed the killings came “overwhelmingly from poor and marginalized communities” between May 2018 and April 2019.
The group said Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, the police chief of Caloocan City at the time of the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in Aug. 2017, was one of the police officers transferred to Bulacan.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo dismissed the report as just “pure politics” and instead urged the victims of war on drugs to file a case against the erring policemen.
“Amnesty International is politicizing the so-called extra judicial killings,” Panelo said on Monday. “The victims of war on drugs should have filed a case against the erring policemen.”
“The fact remains that the basis for their call (of investigation on war on drugs) is factually wrong. They’re saying that there have been murders in the country,” added Panelo./PN