DND chief: Wait for results of probe on activists’ killings in Calabarzon
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday appealed to human-rights advocates and those he called “enemies” to wait for the results of the investigation before making any judgments on the killings of nine activists during police operations in Calabarzon.
“Siguro hintayin muna natin ang imbestigasyon. NBI [National Bureau of Investigation] ang mag-i-investigate niyan para medyo impartial, hindi Armed Forces or hindi rin PNP [Philippine National Police] ang mag-investigate para maging patas ang investigation,” he said in a briefing.
(Let’s wait for the investigation. The NBI will investigate the case so it would be impartial. Not the Armed Forces nor the PNP so the investigation will be fair.)
Even before a formal investigation has started, Lorenzana said human-rights advocates have already reported their account of the raids to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, prompting the body to issue a statement saying it was “appalled” by the killings.
“Siguro, hintayin muna natin iyong imbestigasyon dito sa atin bago natin isuplong,” he said.
(Let’s wait for the investigation before we report it.)
He also said government “enemies” [‘yung kalaban natin] are trying to “preempt the investigation and paint us to be in the wrong.”
“So, hintayin muna natin. Let us settle down and wait for the result of the investigation and naniniwala naman ako kung sino iyong mga nagkamali diyan ay mapaparusahan, either they are PNP or the Armed Forces,” the Defense chief said.
(So, let’s wait. Let us settle down and wait for the result of the investigation. We believe that whoever made a mistake would be punished, either the PNP or the Armed Forces.)
Last March 7, nine individuals whom rights groups said were mere activists were killed in simultaneous police operations in the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite.
Despite progressive groups condemning the killings, the Philippine National Police (PNP) maintained that the activists engaged police and soldiers in armed confrontations—or in Filipino, “nanlaban.”
As of now, the Commission on Human Rights and the task force on extrajudicial killings headed by the Department of Justice have vowed to conduct separate investigations.
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