SENATOR Risa Hontiveros said she agreed with statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the recent killing of two teens in the hands of the police did not make a policy but argued that the chief executive could “not wash his hands off” these deaths.
“The President cannot wash his hands off these killings. Through his words and endless provocation, President Duterte set into motion the killing of thousands,” Hontiveros said in response to the verbal assault against her by Duterte.
Duterte called as “stupid” remarks by Hontiveros that the deaths of Kian Loyd de los Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz indicated the government’s alleged policy to kill drug suspects.
Hontiveros issued the statement at the resumption of the investigation by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs into the killing of de los Santos on Tuesday.
The President also accused Hontiveros of politicizing the death of de los Santos.
“I am not a genius but I know that while two deaths do not make a policy, thousands of dead, without remorse, regret, or action from the government, do,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros said the 8,000 to 13,000 individuals killed in the war on drugs were not caused by accidents but by existing policy.
“May intensyon, may nagdikta, may sistema at polisiya sa likod ng mga patayan (there is intention, someone who dictates, a system and policy behind these killings). How could the number of dead reach such catastrophic levels if there is no guiding principle and policy behind it?” Hontiveros said.
In fact, Hontiveros said, the President has acknowledged such a policy when he justified the killing of 69 suspects in Bulacan, Caloocan and Manila in less than a week in August.
She also cited previous statements by the President about shooting suspects if they fought back and forcing them to fight back if they refused.
“President Duterte may insult me but he cannot deny the fact that the words coming from his lips, or those of any head of State, have the effect of policy,” the senator said.