• Ifugao lawmaker wants end to EJKs

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    LAGAWE, Ifugao:  Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat said his top wish for 2017 is his desire for an end to extra-judicial killings (EJKS).

    “In the spirit of the New Year, there should be greater respect for human rights and success of the ongoing peace talks,” he added.

    While reaffirming his support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s relentless campaign against drugs, Baguilat said the campaign must be waged the right way.

    “The campaign must be waged by abiding with the country’s laws and reforming the justice system. The rule of law should be respected to protect the innocent,” he added.

    The congressman said he fears that the increasing number of deaths, now about 6,000 that have been attributed to the drug war, has emboldened vigilantes to roam the streets and kill at will.

    He hopes that 2017 engenders a Philippine National Police that is more focused on lawful arrests and stopping the murders.

    “The culture of violence should not take hold because in the Philippines, everyone is still innocent until proven guilty,” Baguilat said.

    He added that he also wishes to have colleagues in Congress who are more independent thinkers and who will not rush in passing the death penalty bill.

    Pushed in the House by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez as a priority bill of the administration, Baguilat has long insisted that the death penalty has not been proven to reduce crime and that it would largely affect the poor.

    “This is the season of love, salvation and hope, and I wish that my colleagues will be touched by the love of God and align their position against the death penalty,” he said.

    His New Year’s resolution for the President is for him to tone down the angry rhetoric against the United Nations, European Union and partner nations such as the United States as well as other institutions.

    He said angry rhetoric is counterproductive to the country and the people’s need.

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