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PNP cleanup seen to boost PHL’s rights score card

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THE ongoing “cleansing” of the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP) can also help improve the country’s reputation in terms of compliance with human and labor rights, according to a labor group.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) urged the government to use its ongoing attempts to rid the PNP of officials with links to illegal drugs as an opportunity to reform the organization.

“The FFW further calls on the DILG chief to adopt measures to align reforms that will inculcate trade union and human rights standards among the ranks of the PNP,” the labor group said.

It noted the country is currently in need of improving its compliance with labor and human rights, especially with the arrival of the International Labor Organization is sending an ILO-High Level Tripartite Mission (ILO-HLTM)  on January 23, 2023.

The mission will investigate reported extralegal killings, enforced disappearances, intimidations, and violence committed against trade union leaders, organizers, and activists throughout the year.

“The FFW stands with Secretary Abalos in believing that the PNP must undergo a process of cleansing to restore a good image, discipline, and improve effectiveness in the campaign against illegal drugs as well as respect for human and trade union rights,” FFW said.

Last week, Interior Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos Jr. ordered PNP generals and full colonels to submit their courtesy resignations in an attempt to remove police officials with links to illegal drug trade.

He said a five-man committee will be created to screen the replacement of the resigned officials.

Among them is former police general and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B.  Magalong.

FFW lauded the inclusion of Magalong in the committee.

“The inclusion of Mayor Benjamin Magalong, with his integrity, expertise, and experience, in the five-man committee evaluating the profiles of resigned officials is also a welcome development,” it said.

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