Will lower House probe extra-judicial killings?

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2017 04:06 AM

Administration critics in the Lower House on Wednesday sought a congressional investigation into extra-judicial killings anew after a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on the government's drug war.

The SWS survey revealed that more than half of the Filipinos expressed doubt that many of those killed in anti-drug operations fought it out with cops.

ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said the lower chamber should pursue inquiries on extra-judicial killings under the war on drugs.

"Survey ay mananatiling opinyon hanggang di ito napapatunayan in a scientific way. Tingin natin dapat ipursue dito sa House yung paghe-hear sa EJK," he said.

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio alleged that policemen were targeting poor drug suspects in their anti-drug operations.

"Pinapatay, pinapalabas na nanlaban. 'Yun 'yung isang pinakamabigat na consequence ng drug war ni Pangulong Duterte, na nagiging malaganap ang practice ng law enforcement na sila mismo ang lumalabag sa pundamanetal na karapatan ng mga mamayan,” he said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) could not provide the socioeconomic profile of those killed in the drug war, according to Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas.

"Even in the budget deliberation, we've asked about it, 'yung mga data na kailangan pero apparently di yun available. Kahit nga po yung pagsasabi ng kung ilan namatay, pinatay, socioeconomic profile ng pinatay, 'yun di nila maibigay yun," she said.

"Ibig sabihin yung transparency din ng PNP, malinaw po yun na parang may impunity kasi kung talagang out in the open yung lahat ng data na ito….dapat maging open din sila sa international investigations," she added.

Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said they could have launched an in-depth investigation on the drug war if the House leadership allowed them to do so.

“We could have validated or dig deeper to such survey kung pinayagan sana ng leadership ng house...to conduct legislative inquiries. Sa mga finile natin, marami na po yan, at least we have 3-4 resolutions since last year with regards to the drug war. Unfortunately, our resolution fell on deaf ears," he said.

Some House minority lawmakers also concurred with the results of the poll.

"Di rin kami naniniwala na ganun karami ang nanlaban. Patuloy naman po yung aming pakiusap na kinakailangan paganahin natin ang sistema ng katarungan," Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque said.

“Kasama na ako sa di naniniwala," Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza said.

Latest police estimates placed the number of drug suspects slain in legitimate police operations at 3,800. Human rights groups meanwhile placed the figure at 13,000, which the administration has described as overblown.