British embassy tells nationals: Don’t be involved in drugs
The British Embassy in Manila has warned its citizens who are planning to travel to the country against the recent spate of killings of suspected drug users and dealers under the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In its latest update on its travel advice to British nationals posted on Monday, the embassy said that police are “publicly encouraged” to kill suspected drug traffickers.
“Penalties for importing and using illegal drugs are particularly severe; police and other authorities have been publicly encouraged to kill suspected drug traffickers who resist arrest,” the advice read.
With the government waging a fierce anti-drug campaign, the embassy advised British nationals coming to the Philippines not “to become involved with drugs of any kind.”
Aside from warning its citizens against involving themselves in drugs, the embassy said that there is a high incidence of street crime and robbery in the Philippines. It also said that there is a high threat of terrorism in the country as there has been an increase of kidnapped foreign nationals starting from late 2015.
In 2015, there were around 154,000 British nationals who visited the country.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa vowed to protect his troops amid questions on the spate of killings of drug suspects.
“Onward! The momentum is on our side; we cannot afford to waste this momentum. There have been so many, thousands, that have surrendered. Many have died, do we stop now?” Dela Rosa said in Filipino.
Dela Rosa was supported by Solicitor General Jose Calida who said that the PNP should be given the presumption of regularity in performing its duties, even if the number of those slain in its anti-drug operations has exceeded 100 under the Duterte administration.
“They have a mandate. They are obeying superior orders. The orders come directly from the PNP chief, and he also receives orders from the President. So it’s up to those who alleged that there is something wrong [to prove it]. They should come out. It can’t be based only on speculations just because a lot of people died. To me, the numbers aren’t even enough,” Calida said. RAM/rga
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