Sotto: EJKs exist in PH, but not sanctioned by gov’t
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Wednesday admitted that extra-judicial killings (EJKs) exist in the country but denied that these are state-sponsored.
Sotto made the statement when asked to comment on Senator Manny Pacquiao’s reported statement before Oxford University students in the United Kingdom that there are no EJKs in the government’s war against drugs.
“We have to admit na mayroong mga EJKs, pero hindi in-order ng gobyerno (We have to admit that there are EJKs, but they were not ordered by the government),” Sotto said in a news forum.
Sotto said the alleged EJKs might have been committed by illegal drug traffickers who are afraid that their identities will be revealed to authorities following the arrest of their underlings.
“Pero (But) was it sanctioned by the government? No. Perhaps, that’s what Manny Pacquiao means,” he said.
Sotto laments that the image of the country’s war against drugs has been slanted before the international community to show that EJKs were being done by government authorities.
He added that the term EJK itself is “non-existent,” as there are no judicial killings or even a death penalty in the country.
“So, it’s a misnomer,” he said.
Sotto was then asked to comment on the death of Kian delos Santos, the 17-year-old boy killed in an anti-drug operation of the Caloocan City police in August 2017. Delos Santos was accused of being a drug runner who allegedly resisted arrest.
Sotto refused to comment saying he learned that other people have used the issue for their advantage. He did not elaborate. /muf