MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday expressed doubt over the type of questioning used in a recent survey showing that more Filipinos fear of being victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
“I do not want to dispute the statistics derived by SWS (Social Weather Stations), except that there is something amiss with how the questions were framed in relation to the perception of alleged police involvement in illegal drugs and alleged EJKs,” PNP Chief, General Oscar Albayalde, said in a press briefing Monday.
Albayalde was referring to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted Dec. 16 to 19, 2018 showing that 78 percent of Filipinos are worried that they, or anyone they know, will be a victim of EJKs. This figure is higher by five points from the 73 percent acquired in June 2017.
“I take the latest survey results on public perception to alleged extrajudicial killing with a full cup of salt. It shouldn’t be surprising that 78 percent are afraid of getting killed. Who isn’t afraid to die, anyway?” Albayalde told reporters in a press briefing in Camp Crame Monday.
Albayalde said that the kind of questioning being done by the SWS in relation to the public’s perception on extra-judicial killings was incorrect.
“Responses to the question “Gaano po kayo nangangamba na kayo o sino mang kilala ninyo ay maging biktima ng‘extrajudicial killing’ o EJK? (How worried are you that you or anyone you know will be a victim of ‘extrajudicial killing’ or EJK?)” cannot be validated by respondents without keen awareness or understanding of EJK as we know it from Administrative Order 35 Series of 2012 by President (Benigno) Aquino,” he said.
He said the survey missed the crucial point of determining the respondents’ awareness of EJK before going any further, or at the very least providing a briefer to define EJK for the respondent.
“Nonetheless, that doesn’t change the fact that a large majority continue to support the national crusade against illegal drugs and show appreciation to the improved drug situation in their own communities,” said Albayalde.
The country’s top cop also asked SWS to be responsible in conducting surveys.
“This is a private corporation, a private agency that we have no control of. We do not know whether they are really being used by somebody or not. We really do not know. What we are asking here is that we humbly ask is for them to be responsible. Yung importante dito is our social responsibility,” he stressed.
Albayalde, however, expressed hope that survey firms such as SWS remain impartial and apolitical.
“Let us all be fair to the Filipino people. They deserve the truth. Let’s not let our offices be used by any political party because it will be reflected in the way the people perceive the information we are releasing. We give the public the truth,” he added.
Albayalde noted that there are no proven incidents of EJKs since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016.
He said at least 50 percent of the deaths under investigation have already been solved or cleared which means that the suspects have been identified or arrested.
He said case folders of deaths under investigation have been submitted to the Office of the Solicitor General which will be forwarded to the Supreme Court. (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/ PNA)