MANILA- Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday backed a news report about policemen who are allegedly paid to kill drug suspects.
In a handwritten note released to the media, De Lima said she knows that killings in the country are sponsored by the state.
"I'm more than morally convinced that the ongoing human carnage targetting mostly the poor is State-sponsored as incited by a blood-thirsty head of state. Ooops... No, I'm not just more than morally convinced. Without any reservation, I KNOW it's State-sponsored," she said.
A report by Reuters, said policemen have received payments for killing drug suspects, planting evidence at crime scenes, and carrying out most of the killings that have been blamed on vigilantes.
Reuters cited two unnamed senior officers who are "critical" of President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign as sources.
"The Reuters story, citing sources purporting to be police officers who are in-the-know about the anti-drug operations, is not a fiction. It's real. It's the ugly and disturbing truth of what has become of the PNP," De Lima said.
De Lima added that she thinks there are a number of officials within the Philippine police force who are knowledgeable of the alleged "lawlessness."
"Something tells me that a significant no. of PNP officers and personnel are as equally shaken and appalled by this tide of lawlessness that has swept their ranks," she said.
"I say that they, and they alone, can save their beloved institution from further infamy."
The former justice chief added that self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) members Edgar Matobato and retired cop Arturo "Arthur" Lascañas told the truth about the killings.
"Matobato and Lascañas have told us the truth about the DDS. The cash rewards for the assailants and the planting of handguns and drugs on the slain suspect are the very characteristics of the nightmare called DDS," De Lima said.
"The DDS, in its monstrous form, has simply been transplanted from a local kingdom to the national sphere. It's now a nationwide plague," she added.