CHR receives ’55 EJK’ complaints during quarantine period
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Thursday said it received 55 complaints related to alleged extra-judicial killings (EJKs) during the implementation of community quarantine in the country.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit said the CHR has monitored 817 complaints related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, mostly related to government assistance and torture or “cruel, inhumane, degrading” treatment or punishment.
“[Complaints on] arrests and detention are 107, and EJKs are 55. So even in terms of numbers, even if it slowed down, it’s still a death. It’s still an EJK allegation. We are investigating all of that,” she said as she enumerated the number of human rights complaints received by the CHR amid the health crisis.
Various community quarantine setups have been imposed in the country since March.
She lamented that the CHR is finding it hard to investigate the reported cases primarily due to lack of police cooperation.
“But let me just say this, a lot of police officers out there would like to cooperate but there is an order not to. So what can we do, what can they do? And I am sure that a lot of them would like to speak out as well because they don’t like what’s happening in their institution,” she added.
Government data showed that over 5,600 drug suspects have died in the anti-drug campaign since 2016, although human rights groups peg the actual figure to thrice higher.
During the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara announced the creation of a panel that will investigate “drug war” deaths.
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