De Lima wants Palace to let UN probe killings
Sen. Leila De Lima is seeking Senate help to have the executive branch allow the United Nations to investigate the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
But this early, her Senate resolution is bound to be snubbed by her colleagues, as some of them don’t look with favor on a UN meddling with the country’s affairs.
On the day she was ousted as chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, De Lima filed Resolution No. 153 “urging the executive department, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, to extend an invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions to visit the country to look into the extrajudicial killings and summary executions amid the administration’s war on drugs.”
De Lima’s resolution said the call for the investigation by the United Nations came amid perceptions “that our local institutions of law enforcement and justice, including domestic mechanisms of accountability of public officials appear to be either inadequate, compromised or weak.”
She said the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation “cannot be expected to even initiate—much more sustain—an independent investigation into the killings.”
For its part, the Commission on Human Rights was “under-equipped both in resources and manpower to conduct such massive investigation” and the commission had been “pilloried” by Mr. Duterte and other officials, according to the resolution.
“Thus, against this backdrop, and unless a third party investigator comes in, there is a reason to believe that we may not be able to ferret out the whole truth behind the killings, and to serve justice to the victims and the Filipino people,” the resolution said.
De Lima’s resolution mentioned the need for the UN inquiry in light of the testimony given by self-confessed hit man Edgar Matobato to her erstwhile justice committee implicating the President in the killings of 1,000 people, mostly criminals, when Mr. Duterte was still Davao City mayor.
“Considering the serious allegations in the Matobato testimony and their grave implications that impinge on the pursuit of truth and the administration of justice in light of the cases of extrajudicial killings, various sectors, notably those engaged in human rights advocacy, clamor for an independent, swift and thorough investigation of the killings,” the resolution said.
De Lima’s resolution was referred to the foreign relations committee, which happens to be chaired by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, whose speech last Monday accusing her of destroying the image of the country as a result of her committee hearings, led to her removal from the committee.
But Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said he had doubts De Lima’s resolution would get support from the Senate, as he admitted that he would not support the resolution.