By Hannah Torregoza
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday denounced the gruesome killing of a five-year-old child that was found dead inside a large pink bag and blamed anew the Duterte government for promoting a culture of impunity in the Philippines.
De Lima was reacting to news reports of a female child that was found dead and stashed in a large pink bag made from recycled rice sack at a drug suspect’s house in Sta. Cruz, Laguna last May 20.
Police confirmed that the child sustained cuts in the neck from a blunt knife and was stabbed with an ice pick. They are still determining whether the victim was sexually assaulted.
The suspect, Glenn Ford Manzanero, 30, reportedly admitted to the crime and told police officers that he was “high on drugs” when he took the girl. Manzanero is now facing a murder charge.
The senator said the unorthodox death highlights the dismal failure of the government’s war on drugs that only exacerbated the culture of violence and abuses in the country.
De Lima, a staunch critic of the administration’s all-out war on drugs, said it is high-time that the government rethinks its anti-narcotics policy which has miserably failed to stop suspected drug offenders from committing crimes.
“Saan po ba humantong ang bansa makalipas ang tatlong taon sa puwesto ng rehimeng Duterte? Libo-libo na ang pinaslang ng War on Drugs ng kanyang gobyerno, pero bakit patuloy pa rin ang mga karumal-dumal na krimen sa lipunan, pati na ang lalong paglubha ng kalakaran ng ilegal na droga? (How did the country fare in the last three years under the Duterte regime? Thousands have been slain in the government’s war on drugs, and yet why are heinous crimes like this still happen in our society, and why did the illegal drug trade seemed to worsen?),” de Lima pointed out.
“Patunay lang ito na talagang hindi epektibo ang marahas at madugong polisiya ni Duterte (This is only proof that the bloody and violent policies of Duterte were not really effective),” she said.
De Lima, who is currently detained over drug charges at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center, said she fears that the next three years of the Duterte administration would set a fresh trend of violence and brutality.
The former justice secretary recalled that last April, Duterte admitted that his administration’s all-out war on drugs has “failed” and was actually “worsening,” noting his statement that “drugs has always been there. It even intensified.”
“Nakababahala na sa mga susunod na taon, kapag patuloy na nanahimik at kinunsinte lamang ng ibang mga pinuno ang araw-araw na patayan, ay magpatuloy lamang ang ganitong karahasan at kawalang pananagutan sa bansa, (The next few years is worrisome, if our leaders continue to just remain silent and consent to the everyday killings, these type of violence and lack of impunity will prevail in our country),” she added.
The lawmaker, at the same time, renewed her call for Filipinos to continue to speak out against the worsening records of violence and killings in the country under Duterte’s leadership.
“Sa patuloy na paghihikayat ng Pangulo ng patayan sa ating bayan, mas lalo lang niyang binibigyan ng lakas ng loob ang mga masasamang loob na gumawa ng ganitong karumal-dumal na krimen dahil tila nakatatak na sa isip nila na ‘okay lang pumatay’. Maling-mali! (As the President encourages the killings in our nation, he is only provoking these criminals to further commit gruesome crimes because they believe it’s okay to do so. That is so wrong!),” she said.