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IAS investigating eight cops after fatal buy-busts – Delvo

DAVAO Regional Police Director Brig. Gen. Alden Delvo confirmed that eight police officers were relieved as the series of violent buy-busts that resulted in seven deaths seemed “unusual.“

The Internal Affairs Service (IAS) has taken custody of the case after PNP Director General Benjamin Acorda ordered an investigation into the deaths of the suspects, especially after Mayor Sebastian Duterte declared a war on drugs and threatened drug dealers to leave the city or be killed.

“The high number of casualties in this operation raised concerns,” said Delvo at an AFP-PNP press conference last Wednesday. “Seven deaths in a three-day operation involving eight officers is unusual, but not unheard of.”

“My position is clear,” Delvo continued. “If the officers followed proper police procedures and acted in self-defense, I will fully support them. 

“However, if there were any procedural violations or human rights abuses, a thorough investigation will be conducted and appropriate charges will be filed.”

“While the operation may have been legitimate,” Delvo said, “the high number of casualties is unusual, which is why I ordered an investigation.”

He clarified that officers should prioritize their safety but avoid unnecessary lethal force. However, he remained optimistic that the relief of the eight officers pending the results of the IAS investigation wouldn’t demoralize the force. 

Delvo said he is only ensuring that police follow proper procedures in enforcing the law.

Delvo emphasized the importance of body-worn cameras, with alternative recording devices required if unavailable to serve as evidence in cases of investigations. 



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