De Lima open to include ‘execution’ of sidecar driver in probe
Sen. Leila de Lima is keen to include in her Senate inquiry the deadly shooting of a pedicab (sidecar) driver despite his apparent intent of surrender during a police operation in Pasay City before dawn on Tuesday.
In an interview, De Lima said the shooting was clearly a case of summary execution.
“It is clear that that was really illegal, that it was a criminal act… You will kill just like that, someone about to surrender without a chance to defend himself, that is certainly a summary execution,” said De Lima, chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights.
Asked if she would include the case in her inquiry, De Lima said: “Yes, if there is a CCTV (closed circuit television video), that’s possible.”
A video on the police operation captured the exchange between police and drug suspect Eric Sison, whose shouts that he was going to surrender was followed by gunshots.
De Lima’s investigation is looking into possible abuses of police authorities in its drug war, initiated amid a spate of deaths amid the Duterte administration’s all-out campaign to eradicate the country’s drug problem.
The probe aims to draw up stricter measures on police operating procedure with emphasis on rule of law and human rights.
As of Tuesday, the police reported that a total of 756 “drug personalities” have been killed since July 1 for putting up a resistance against police. Some, 1,160 other deaths are meanwhile under investigation, including 212 suspected vigilante killings, with the bodies found hogtied, bound with tape, or with cardboards.
De Lima has by far presented two witnesses whose loved ones, all admitted drug pushers, were allegedly killed by police. She said she had nine other witnesses to present in hearings to be set soon.
“We have also been receiving feelers since the first day of our hearing, people sending on Facebook, through texts to my staff, that they also want to come forward to the CHR (Commission on Human Rights) or to me because something happened to their loved ones,” she said.
“We will look at that because I have a team now accessing these witnesses who are willing, then they validate the story before they are presented to me,” she said.
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