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Recto, De Lima favor Senate probe on AI report

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:57 AM February 03, 2017

Two senators on Friday backed a Senate probe on the Amnesty International’s (AI) report that the Philippine National Police (PNP) was allegedly paying hit men, including its own officers, to kill drug suspects.

“Yes. It is important for the Senate to look into the report and invite their representatives as resource persons,” Senator Ralph Recto said in a text message when asked if he would support Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s resolution calling for a Senate inquiry on the AI report.

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“There are many other resource persons that the Senate can call to testify. It will give the PNP the opportunity to refute the report, etc,” Recto added.

READ: ‘PNP paid killers P5,000 per drug user’

Senator Leila de Lima also threw her support behind Escudero’s move to have the AI report investigated by the Senate.

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“If we require more proof before the Senate conducts an inquiry into the AI report, then the Senate won’t ever be able to conduct a single inquiry. The point of a Senate investigation is precisely to investigate, and investigation means the facts are not yet all available, that is why there is a need for the Senate to further investigate,” De Lima said in a statement.

She said she went over the AI report and saw “enough good leads” for a further, deeper probe.

“Accounts of witnesses to a number of EJKs (extrajudicial killings) embodied in that report are very credible and verifiable through an honest-to-goodness thorough probe. Actual incidents are cited with dates and names of victims and/or witnesses. So, what more do we need from AI?” the lady senator asked.

“Sa totoo lang, nakakahiya po na may mga international entities like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and even foreign media, na masusi at seryosong minamanmanan at iniimbestigahan ang mga EJKs sa ating bansa, habang ang mga local authorities naman ay umiiwas sa pag-iimbestiga o kung meron mang mga umiimbestiga nito ay wala naman tayong nakikitang resulta.”

(Truth be told, it is embarrassing that it’s the international entities like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and even foreign media that are earnestly monitoring and investigating on EJKs in our country, while the local authorities evade investigation or, if there are investigations on it, we see no results of such.)

“Kung ganun, dapat talaga na makialam na ang International Criminal Court and/or other relevant UN bodies dyan sa usapin ng EJKs (which have reached very alarming proportions),” De Lima added.

(If that’s the case, then it’s just right that the International Criminal Court and/or other relevant UN bodies meddle with the issue of EJKs, which have reached very alarming proportions.)

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Recto and De Lima issued the statements when sought for reaction to Escudero’s plan to file a resolution for the Senate to look into the AI report.

Escudero, a member of the minority bloc, said he would push through with the filing of the resolution despite the reported reluctance of Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon to conduct the probe unless the AI would provide evidence to support its report.

READ: Gordon, Lacson cool to probe of drug killings

“Yes, perhaps they should wait for the resolution and see its tenor first,” Escudero, a member of the minority bloc, said in a text message.

He earlier said that the resolution that he would file may be referred to either the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, chaired by Lacson or the committee justice and human rights headed by Gordon. CDG/rga

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TAGS: AI, Amnesty International, Drugs, extrajudicial killings, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Philippine National Police (PNP), Ralph Recto, Senate, state-sponsored killings
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