De Lima wants probe on Central Luzon drug war killings
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition senator Leila de Lima has called for a probe on the increase of drug-related killings in Central Luzon due to police anti-drug operations.
De Lima recently filed Senate Resolution No. 1041 which urges the appropriate Senate committee to look into the unprecedented record of deaths in Central Luzon.
“The past year, various news reports show that while Metro Manila has registered a reduction on the number of deaths in their drug-related operations, nearby provinces and regions have recorded more than one death a day, specifically Central Luzon, and that it has become the new focus of the War on Drugs,” the senator said in a statement.
“It is urgent to investigate this apparent shift of focus to Central Luzon and to assess the strategy pursued by the administration’s drug war,” she added.
Citing Philippine National Police’s (PNP) 2018 data, De Lima noted that there were 542 drug suspects killed in police operations in Central Luzon, which is 29.6 percent of the total drug operation killings in 2018.
This is lower than the 285 drug suspects killed in Metro Manila, which represents only 15.57 percent of the total.
The senator also noted how cops in Central Luzon cops have a lower number of seized illegal drugs, having hauled only 11.98 kilograms (kgs) of crystal meth or “shabu,” compared to Metro Manila cops’ 143.85 kgs.
“The manner of executions reflects the killings made here in Metro Manila, the difference being the drug operations are committed in another area, with new victims,” she said.
“It is also imperative to look into the factual and legal issues relating to these killings and determine whether these killings were products of legitimate police operations; the rights of suspects or persons subject of operations have been observed; and existing procedures on arrest, seizure and arrest have been complied with,” she added. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.