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Wednesday, October 18, 2017 26° Light rain

SC asked to compel PNP, CHR, DOJ to probe killings and make results public

Published

By Rey Panaligan

The Supreme Court (SC) has been asked to compel government agencies to investigate all killings linked to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and to make public all reports and status of the investigations.

“What is at stake here is the right to life, the most fundamental of all human rights, whose protection should not be rendered naught by ‘administrative inaction or indifference,’” the group led by lawyer Evelyn Ursua said in a petition for a writ of continuing mandamus.

“In the context of the ongoing government campaign against illegal drugs, the state’s positive obligation to protect the right to life requires… adequate and effective measures to ensure that no arbitrary deprivation of life happens in the course of any police or law enforcement operation,” the group stressed.

Other signatories to the petition were Anna May Baquirin, Mary Jane Real, Maria Lulu Reyes and Joan Dympna Saniel. They cited reports that deaths as a result of police operations and vigilante killings have reached almost 14,000.

Named respondents were Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and Commission on Human Rights Chair Chito Gascon.

Erodes confidence

The petitioners said that “respondents have failed to adequately perform their duty to prevent violations of the right to life and to investigate and prosecute the violations that have occurred.”

“The lack of genuine investigation severely erodes public confidence in the integrity of the government agencies respondents represent. With the public’s lack of trust in those government agencies, impunity ensues and the rule of law is eroded,” they said.

In its petition, the group invoked the High Court’s landmark ruling in the Manila Bay cleanup in 2007 written by Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr.

In the Manila Bay cleanup ruling, the SC ordered the government agencies to coordinate for the cleanup, restoration, and preservation of the water quality of the Manila Bay.  It required various government agencies to each submit to the SC a quarterly progressive report of the activities undertaken in line with the principle of “continuing mandamus.”

The SC created a committee chaired by Justice Velasco to oversee the government’s compliance with its decision.

Prevent impunity

On the illegal drugs-related killings, the petitioners said the SC should intervene and compel concerned government agencies to adopt and implement proactive and institutional measures to prevent extra-judicial killings.

“Extra-judicial killings must be investigated regardless of whether or not there is a formal complaint…. The intention must be to prevent impunity and the commission of similar acts,” they said.

They stressed that the writ of continuing mandamus would “ensure that respondents perform their ministerial duties” as mandated by the 1987 Constitution and spelled out in various international treaties on human rights.

“Time is of the essence in the present case,” they said as they urge the SC to act swiftly on their petition.

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  • leomar101

    Asus heto na naman ang mga bibing walang alam kung di protektahan ang mga criminals at drug addicts. tumigil nga kazo namga ginagamit ng mga anti Duterte para lang maibagsak ang kanzang pamahalaan na nakikipaglaban s amg criminals at protektahan angmga mamayan. Hayan n aniwalana naman kayo na 14 thousand ang namatay ng EJK . Mga torpe kung anu ang sinasabi ni maria rappler yon ang pinaniwalaan ninyo. Bakit di kayo pumonta sa PNP at doon kayo mag verify anf humingi ng breakdown sa mga namatay na yan? torpe kayo noong 6 years na animal na aquino na yan 72 thousands ang namatay under his corrupt PNP with purisima. hahahahah

  • 189COWARDS

    hahaha…. other Hearsays gullible people!
    “They cited reports that deaths as a result of police operations and vigilante killings have reached almost 14,000.”
    Give evidence of what you are saying…

  • isang lahi

    Congratulations to this all woman group. God bless you.

  • angrycitizen

    They are just doing this to consume limited government investigative resources and reduce our ability to investigate bigger crimes, like yellow corruption, child molestations by the church and the missing Yolanda funds.