The deaths of teenagers Kian Loyd delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman have prompted a “major rethinking” of the government’s war on drugs, Malacañang said Thursday.
“The act that the PNP is being investigated, that there are Senate hearings, this indicates that actually the whole nation is in the process of rethinking the way we do things,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a Palace briefing.
“And so that is part now of (the) entire restructuring and renewing,” he added.
Asked if there was a need for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to reexamine its policies regarding the way it implements President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, Abella said, “I believe they are all in the process of rethinking everything.”
Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, during the House’s marathon plenary debates on the wee hours of Thursday, asked the House of Representatives to either put the proposed P900-million budget for the government’s anti-drug campaign for 2018 “in a suspended mode” until a “serious precondition” is met — justice for the drug suspects brutally killed in police operations.
Casiloa, a member of the Makabayan party-list bloc, appealed to the House to perform its duty “not to take part in whatever process that will allow another Kian, another Carl, another Reynaldo.”
Abella said Malacañang was “very concerned” on the brutal deaths of the teenagers.
The Palace official said the government was open to create a commission or a task force to run after perpetrators of extrajudicial killings in the country.
“Malacañang is open to all significant and actually workable solutions,” he said.
The deaths of the three teenagers have sparked criticisms on the President’s war on drugs and possible police abuses under the current administration.
But in his speech on Wednesday, Duterte said he was against extrajudicial killings and vowed to send to jail those behind them.