CHR calls on gov’t to probe other ‘nanlaban’ cases
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) urged government on Friday to investigate other alleged “unlawful aggression” or “nanlaban” cases linked to its war on drugs after the Office of the Ombudsman filed murder charges against a police officer for the killing of a 23-year-old epileptic during an anti-drug operation.
“The Commission on Human Rights welcomes the order of Ombudsman Samuel Martires to file murder charges against PO3 (Staff Sergeant) Gerry Geñalope in connection with an anti-drug operation on May 18, 2017 that killed drug suspect Djastin Lopez,” CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.
Lopez, a person with epilepsy, reportedly sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen “despite being in a position to not defend himself — shutting down claims that he fought back or ‘nanlaban.’”
“An overused narrative claimed by state agents in the middle of the campaign against illegal drugs, we urge the government to investigate and shed light to thousands of other unlawful aggression (nanlaban) cases and allow the rule of law to prevail,” De Guia said.
“As such, we also remind the State and law enforcers that it is their sworn duty to guarantee that ‘no person shall be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the law,’” she added.
Aside from ordering the dismissal of Geñalope from service, the Ombudsman also filed murder charges against him over the killing of Lopez during the alleged drug operation in Tondo, Manila.
Witnesses claimed that Lopez and the other people on a railway track in Tondo started running when police officers in plainclothes arrived in the area.
According to Djastin’s family, a police officer supposedly caught up with Lopez and started shooting him even as he held up his hands in surrender. /muf
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