Amid Duterte’s new order, Espino to CHR: Coordination is key
Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director, cited this as the key word that would describe the PRO-7 and Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) relationship amid reports that police, upon the instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte, could no longer share their case folders with the CHR without the approval of the Office of the President.
Espino said that the CHR might seek clearance for the case folders, however, it would be different when CHR would be asking for the case folders than “talking with each other.”
“Coordination, meeting, talking, discussion with CHR, (there is) no problem with that,” Espino said.
CHR-7 Director Arvin Odron said in an interview with CDN that the official business of CHR would continue despite the recent order of the President.
Odron said that he understood the position of Espino following the directives of the President, but they would continue to coordinate with PRO-7.
“As he (Espino) is only following whatever order the PNP headquarters has issued,” Odron said.
“We all know that policies are crafted in the national headquarters and the role of the regional offices is only to ensure that the polices are fully implemented in the regional level,” Odron added.
He also cited a meeting between CHR chairperson Chito Gascon and PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, which was held last August 29.
Odron said on that day Gascon formally requested to Dela Rosa for a copy of case folders related to deaths resulting from anti-illegal drugs operations campaign of the police.
“Considering that the request was made at the instance of our chairperson, we, at the regional level will only wait for whatever directive the former will issue,” Odron said.
Espino, for his part, also said that PRO-7 would be willing to coordinate with CHR especially on the appropriate campaigns against illegal drugs without violating human rights.
For example, the dialogue between the police, barangay officials of Pajo in Lapu-Lapu City and CHR-7 with regards to the “shame campaign” that was implemented last week in Pajo.
Espino also assured that the CHR is always welcome to conduct parallel investigations in case there is death in police operations.
Espino affirmed an existing directive from their higher-ups in the PNP that whenever CHR requests for information pertaining the government’s war on drugs and other crimes, the commission must first seek the permission of the Office of the President.
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