MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday appealed to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to investigate first before making any judgment on the report issued by Amnesty International regarding the alleged involvement of policemen in extra-judicial killings.
"Kasi pag ikaw ay Department of Justice, ikaw ang mag-iimbestiga. Ikaw iyong may prosecutorial power. Wala muna sanang judgments hanggang hindi mo pa napapag-aralan,” Robredo said in a news conference.
“Kasi kung mayroon kaagad nang judgments, ano iyong assurance natin na justice will still be served kung mayroon nang decision kahit wala pang imbestigasyon?" said Robredo.
In a report, Amnesty International said police prosecuting the war on drugs behaved like the criminal underworld they were supposed to be suppressing, taking payments for killings and the delivery of bodies to funeral homes.
It said the wave of drugs-related killings appeared to be "systematic, planned and organized" by authorities, and could constitute crimes against humanity.
Aguirre brushed aside accusations that police killings of thousands of drug suspects may be crimes against humanity, stating that criminals and drug lords are not human.
Robredo said the AI report is a serious accusation, noting that if the cops are indeed paid for every kill they make, it will establish that extrajudicial killings are state-sanctioned.
"Very serious accusation iyon but until wala pang formal investigation na ginagawa, it remains an accusation," she said.
The vice-president raised the question: Has government made a serious attempt to find out the culprits behind the extra-judicial killings?
"Iyong personal na pakiramdam ko on the matter is that maraming nangyaring hindi maganda in the past seven months, and I think and pinakamalaking proof of this is mayroon tayong more than 7,000 na tao killed," said Robredo.