MANILA- Senator Grace Poe on Thursday urged the Senate to investigate the recent spate of killings of teenagers linked to crimes, which have sparked public outrage.
In Senate Resolution No. 498, Poe urged the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on what have been claimed as "isolated cases" of killings involving law enforcers as well as vigilante-style executions.
"...These incidents, no matter how few and rare, should be considered heinous crimes," she said in the resolution.
Poe said the inquiry hopes to lead to a re-evaluation of the rules of engagement of the police in arresting children linked to crimes and on how to help families of victims.
Among cases the senator cited were those of slain teenagers Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, and Reynaldo De Guzman, 14.
Delos Santos and Arnaiz, both said to have been found in possession of illegal drugs, were killed in separate incidents after they allegedly fought back against pursuing police.
Delos Santos was shot dead in an anti-drug operation on Aug. 16. Arnaiz was killed after he allegedly robbed a taxi driver on Aug. 18.
Forensic analysis meanwhile found a suspicious pattern in the killings, including indications that they were shot when already on the ground.
Circumstances surrounding the death of De Guzman, Arnaiz's companion when he left his Cainta, Rizal home on Aug. 17, meanwhile remain unclear.
He was found Wednesday in Nueva Ecija with multiple stab wounds, his head wrapped in packing tape.
Poe also cited the report of the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, which said 54 people aged 18 years and below have been killed in either police operations or vigilante-style killings since July 2016, when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power.
The senator urged her colleagues to condemn the "utter disregard" for life of some police officers under the government's anti-narcotics drive.
"Before we plummet into chaos and utter savagery, the recent brutal deaths of Kian, Carl, and Reynaldo, and of the other youth victims who came before them, should serve as a wake-up call and a reminder that we are a country of laws and morals," she said.
Malacañang has vowed justice for the slays, and the President has said he would not condone abusive police officers.
Read the full resolution here: