PRRD and his critics agree on several fundamental points: We face a serious drug problem that demands attention; the police have a mandate to suppress the drug trade, and in the performance of their duty, they can use deadly force to protect their lives; some crooked cops are involved in the drug trade; extrajudicial killings (EJKs) cannot be condoned and due process must be followed in arresting drug suspects.
Despite this consensus, EJKs remain a concern: The EJK count shows that the police hear more clearly and execute more diligently PRRD’s directive to kill criminals than his caution to respect due process. Like the instructions of Apollo’s priest at Delphi in Greek mythology, PRRD’s message has become ambiguous and subject to alternative, defensible interpretations.
PRRD routinely expresses his confidence that the police know and comply with the requirements of due process. Hence, his repeated, often unqualified assurances that cops who kill criminals while on duty will receive presidential pardon.
But the presumed regularity of police action during official missions does not include the presumption that these operations will always and inevitably involve killing. Thus, police procedures require the investigation of all deaths during these missions. As the last Senate hearing on EJKs showed, many cases have not been fully investigated and resolved.