ALARMED by reports about the alleged practice by some policemen to conceal incidents of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and to tamper with evidence in a crime scene, a lawmaker has asked the Senate to investigate a number of anti-drug operations where drug suspects would end up dead on arrival in hospitals.
Sen. Leila de Lima, in filing Resolution 421, cited a special report by Reuters that exposed the alleged practice, particularly in Quezon City and Manila, where police districts were using hospitals to hide the killings.
Citing the June 29 report, de Lima said “police were sending corpses to hospitals to destroy evidence at crime scenes and hide the fact that they were executing drug suspects.”
De Lima, who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame on drug charges, also cited a sharp increase in the number of suspects who were declared DOA in the two cities.
She said the Reuters report showed an 85 percent increase in these cases since the drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte started in July.
“It was observed that most of the victims rushed by police to the concerned hospitals were killed from lethal wounds to the forehead, chest or heart often fired from less than a meter away…” de Lima stated in her resolution.
She added that Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) both agreed that by moving the bodies of the victims, it effectively obliterate the crime scene—the evidence.
De Lima said the Reuters report points to a distressing yet reparable anomaly in the where the demands for truth and justice are being disregarded by an apparent criminal enterprise within the ranks of the PNP.
“In light of these serious claims and allegations, the Senate should review existing legislations and policies and recommend amendments to existing procedures on arrest, search and seizures,” de Lima stated in her resolution.
She added that it was imperative to investigate the allegations against certain members of the PNP to determine the veracity of the report and ensure that lapses or willfully malicious acts would be addressed and prevented from being committed with impunity.