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Lawmaker calls out House for ‘inaction’ on drug war killings

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Lawmaker calls out House for ‘inaction’ on drug war killings

/ 06:30 PM August 21, 2017
Kaka Bag-ao

Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao. Photo from the Office of Rep. Kaka J. Bag-ao

The House of Representatives has seemingly sat on long-pending calls to investigate the spate of killings amid the administration’s “war on drugs,” according to a Liberal Party lawmaker.

Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao on Monday prodded her colleagues to take action on various resolutions filed a year ago and start looking into the police excesses and summary executions hounding the government’s anti-narcotics campaign.

“One year after, our resolution has not been acted upon. No hearings have been scheduled, no law enforcers have been called on to explain these incidents,” Bag-ao said.

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“I once again call on my colleagues in Congress to investigate these cases and hold the perpetrators accountable,” she added.

House Resolution No. 242, which sought an inquiry into the “steep upsurge in the extra-legal killings and arbitrary or summary executions in the country,” was filed by Bag-ao, as well as Akbayan Rep. Tomasito Villarin and Camarines Sur 3rd Dist. Rep. Gabriel Bordado.

The said resolution has remained pending with the Committee on Rules, chaired by Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, since Aug. 24, 2016.

Other similar pending resolutions include HR 61, filed by Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. of the opposition Magnificent Seven bloc, and HR 1134, filed by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Gabriela Reps. Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Jane Elago, and ACT Teachers Reps. France Castro and Antonio Tinio of the militant Makabayan bloc.

The said resolutions have remained pending with the rules committee since Sept. 19 and Aug. 30 last year, respectively.

Bag-ao issued the call after the killing of 17-year Kian Loyd delos Santos during a Wednesday night police operation.

READ: Cops kill ‘pistol-packing’ Grade 11 kid

The Delos Santos incident was caught on closed-circuit television and witnesses reported that policemen tried to hand him a gun to make it appear he resisted arrest. Police officials have since responded to ensuing outrage by portraying him as a drug suspect.

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Bag-ao said safety in the streets should not only mean being secure from crimes, but also being able to trust law enforcers—something she said is far from true.

“Stop peddling the lie that our streets our safer now. If they were, many children who have been casualties of this drug war could still be alive right now,” Bag-ao said.

“Safety isn’t just being able to walk alone at night without fear of being a victim of crime. It is also in being able to do the same knowing that our law enforcers will be ready and able to protect you,” she said. “Right now, one thing is clear: We are far from being safe and secure.”

Bag-ao said at least 31 minor-aged Filipinos have thus died in police operations or vigilante killings. Other victims include: Althea Barbon, 4; Danica May Garcia, 5; Francis Mañosca, 5; and San Niño Batucan, 7. JPV

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TAGS: anti-drug operation, Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, drug deaths, House of Representatives, Liberal Party solon, war on drugs
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