National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian, second from right, shows off crystal methamphetamine that was seized from alleged drug dealers in Jakarta in this Aug. 24, 2016 file photo. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

Indonesia Will Not Adopt the Philippines' 'Shoot on Sight' Policy Against Drug Criminals


AUGUST 25, 2016

Jakarta. National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said Indonesia will not adopt Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's "shoot on sight" policy against drug criminals, which has resulted in the extra-judicial killings of at least 1,900 alleged drug dealers in the Philippines since Duterte took office on June 30.

Tito's comment came at a press conference to announce the arrest of seven alleged drug dealers caught carrying 63.5 kilograms of sabu, or crystal methamphetamine, in Jakarta on Wednesday (24/08).

However, Tito said both the National Police and the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) are pulling all their resources to fight drug crimes, including those involving corrupt police officers and state officials.

"Shoot on sight policy leads to abuse of power. We still believe in presumption of innocence. Lethal actions are only warranted if there is an immediate threat against officers," Tito said.

In such situations — if officers face drug criminals bearing firearms, posing real danger to their lives, or if the drug criminals threaten the life of a civilian — Tito said, shooting on sight is allowed under Indonesia’s Code of Criminal Procedures (KUHAP).

"In situations like that, it can happen. However, there should not be a deliberate attempt to kill. In the Philippines, the social and political situations are different," Tito said.

"We've copped some flak over [drug kingpin] Freddy Budiman's execution, but that was done by the order of the court. We're not worried about that," Tito said.

Nevertheless, Tito said he does not want his men to go soft on drug criminals and risk their lives.

"Remember what happened in Berlan in January, two of our officers were killed by suspected drug dealers. A week after that, in North Jakarta, an officer shot was shot. The attacker at that time also had a grenade with him. If threatened, we won't hesitate to make the first move," Tito said.

In the Philippines, apart from the thousands killed, almost 700,000 drug dealers and drug users have also surrendered to the police since Duterte began his shoot on sight policy. Crime rate has declined in general, despite the significant increase in murder cases.