Senator Leila De Lima on Thursday filed a resolution directing the Senate committee on justice and human rights to investigate, in aid of legislation, the rampant killings and summary executions of suspected criminals.
In filing Senate Resolution No. 9, De Lima maintained that the Senate inquiry aims to strengthen the mechanisms of accountability of law enforcers and institute corrective legislative measures to ensure respect for basic human rights, especially the right to life.
She said the growing number of summary killings is alarming.
“Given the appalling rate of extrajudicial killing and summary executions, it is urgent to look into the factual and legal issues related to these killings,” De Lima said in the resolution.
Since May 10, the police said 192 drug suspects have been killed but a tally conducted by a television outfit said 339 people were slain from May 10 to July 12.
“The fight against crime is apparently becoming a looming state-sanctioned cover for a policy of summary executions and extrajudicial killings of any and all suspected criminals,” noted De lima, the presumptive chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights.
Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto 3rd already aired their objection to the proposed Senate inquiry.
Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. also on Thursday sought a congressional probe of the extrajudicial killings.
He said the inquiry does not seek to stop the government’s campaign against illegal drugs but to determine if the police conduct its operations within the bounds of the law.
“It is part of our mandate. We want to figure out their process of arresting suspects,” he told reporters in a news forum.
“We’ve heard about issues that some suspects have already wished to surrender and yet they still get killed. I believe it is unjust not to investigate them,” he added.
“At the end of the day, we would want a police force that do not scare the civilians,” Baguilat said. “We may be able to give suggestions on the possible amendment of existing laws … because the root of these killings may be because of our weak judicial system.”