CHR probes ‘vigilante’ attack on Sulu police station
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has vowed to investigate the alleged unprovoked attack on the Parang Police Station in Sulu province, in which two police officers were killed and two others were injured.
In a statement on Tuesday, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said that the commission condemned the attacks, adding that vigilante-style killings would only contribute to a “culture of impunity” in the country.
“No individuals should ever be subject to cruel or inhumane treatment that leads to injury or death. The right to life extends merely beyond the prohibition against the deprivation of existence, but also covers with it the limbs and faculties through which life is enjoyed,” De Guia said.
According to De Guia, violence should not add to the several problems being faced right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, reports came out that at least two unidentified armed men attacked the station, killing Cpl. Mudar Salamat and Pat. Arjun Putalan. The two other policemen, Executive Master Sgt. Hamid Saribbon and Senior Master Sgt. Harold Nieva, survived the incident.
“Vigilante violence is inimical to national development and peace. It is deplorable that, in the midst of a global health pandemic, vigilante violence continues to occur in the country,” De Guia said.
“The right to liberty, the ability to act without prior restraint, is not an absolute right and must not be abused to commit acts contrary to the rule of law. Rights and duties are inseparable. The very enjoyment of right imposes the observance of careful action and duty. Thus, every right involves a corresponding responsibility to others and society,” she added.
This is not the first time CHR called out violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last April, the commission said that it would also investigate skirmishes between the New People’s Army and the government forces despite an ongoing ceasefire declaration during that time.
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