Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Sr. Supt. Felipe Natividad on Thursday said that local police force is ready to let journalists tag along during anti-illegal drug operations as ordered by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to disprove growing allegations on extrajudicial killings.
According to Natividad, the BPPO welcomed the directive, which Duterte issued after a televised Senate investigation into the accusations wherein Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa wept as he asserted that the PNP has no specific mandate to kill suspects.
Preparations and security briefings however will still have to be carried out before the operation to keep journalists from harm, said Natividad.
Although the Bohol police director said that media personnel will not be a nuisance, he noted that protocols will need to be observed to avoid compromising the operatives’ safety and the success of the operation.
Discussions on the budget for protective gear for journalists such as bullet proof vests will still have to be made as well, Natividad added.
Duterte’s war on drugs, which has left thousands of suspects dead and drawn the attention and ire of human rights groups, was placed under renewed scrutiny after police shot 17-year-old Kian delos Santos during a Manila raid in August.
Police had alleged that delos Santos was a drug pusher who shot at cops first during the operation, but witnesses and the boy’s parents claimed that he was pleading for his life before he was gunned down. (RT)