CHR seeks review of all 'nanlaban' cases

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2017 12:14 PM

Policemen check the body of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17, a Grade 11 student from a Catholic School, who was killed in a police operation at Riverside Barangay 160, Caloocan city on August 16. Vincent Go, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights on Monday called for a review of all cases where drug suspects ended up dead for supposedly resisting arrest.

"We now call for a solid investigation, no whitewashing of this as much as we are also calling for a review of every single case of 'nanlaban,'" CHR Commissioner Chito Gascon told ANC.

The call comes amid public outrage at the death of 11th grader Kian Delos Santos, who was killed Wednesday in an alleged shootout with law enforcers during the bloodiest week of the government's anti-narcotics drive.

Latest PNP data show that a total of 3,451 drug personalities were killed in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to July 26, 2017. Police have maintained that the suspects resisted arrest and that operatives only exercised self-defense.

The self-defense argument could only be invoked when a case is brought before the court, not in the preliminary investigation, Gascon said.

He claimed however that of all the "nanlaban" cases in 2016, only one, which concerns the death of a father and son while in police custody, has reached prosecution.

"We need to change this. We need to ensure that our police officers follow the law. We need to make sure they apply proper police procedures," the CHR leader said.

"The President and everyone in his administration need to speak the truth about what's happening."

President Rodrigo Duterte's spokespersons have said that policemen were acting within the law during anti-drug efforts.

Duterte nonetheless has ordered an investigation into the death of Delos Santos, whom police tagged as a drug courier.

The Senate, National Bureau of Investigation and CHR have mounted independent probes into the killing.