Palace to CHR on drug-related killings: Gather evidence, file complaint
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) should gather evidence on alleged drug-related killings and file a complaint so that the criminal justice system of the country can work, Malacañang said Thursday.
This was the reaction of Presidential spokesman Harry Roque following CHR’s report stating that the Philippine National Police (PNP) used “excess, unreasonable” force and had the “intent to kill” suspects during drug-related operations.
CHR had looked into thousands of drug-related killings in the past four years of President Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign.
“Napakahirap na gumalaw, magsampa ng kaso on the basis of a very general conclusion. Ang kinakailangan gawin ng CHR ay kumalap ng ebidensya kada biktima na sa tingin nila ay illegal use of force sa panig ng mga security forces at i-assemble ‘yan at ibigay sa ating piskalya o sa ating NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) para sila ay makapag-file ng kaso,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(It is hard to file a case on the basis of a very general conclusion. CHR needs to gather evidence from victims of illegal use of force and assemble them and give it to NBI to file a complaint.)
“Kung hindi gagawin talaga ito ng CHR, walang mangyayari kung dakdak lang sila nang dakdak,” he added.
(If the CHR does not do this, nothing will happen. It’ll be all talk.)
Roque said nothing is hindering CHR from filing a complaint, and they should do so in order for the criminal justice system in the country to work.
The CHR said it has investigated nearly 3,300 extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in Metro Manila, Central and Southern Luzon resulting from police operations and vigilante killings between May 2016 and March 2021.
Of the total, 1,912 people were killed in police operations, while 1,382 others died in attacks by unidentified assailants.
For its part, the PNP reported 6,011 deaths in police operations nationwide from July 2016 to December 2020. It said that the drug suspects were killed when they fought back against police officers.
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