CHR seeks autopsy on Spaniard slain in alleged drug bust in Siargao island

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2020 05:37 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday called for an autopsy on the remains of Spanish citizen Diego Bello Lafuente, who was killed in a supposed drug bust on Siargao island.

In a statement, CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said an autopsy will provide more details on the circumstances related to Lafuente's death.

“The Commission backs the demand of family and friends of the victim to have an autopsy of his body to help shed light on the incident, and calls on the PNP to uphold due process and ensure the integrity of all the evidence,” De Guia said.

Police said Lafuente was killed after attempting to shoot it out with cops upon sensing he was dealing with lawmen in a drug transaction involving P30,000 worth of cocaine.

The CHR, however, said that they are launching their own probe even if the police had said that what happened was a legitimate anti-drug operation.

“Under its mandate to ensure the protection of the rights of migrants residing in the Philippines and to conduct investigation of cases of extra-judicial killing, the Commission will launch its own probe and will also look into reports saying that the trigger of the killing was the extortion attempt by members of the police which was not accommodated by the Spanish businessman,” De Guia said.

The CHR added that the fight against illegal drugs has become a convenient excuse for some policemen to commit crimes like extortion.

“The Commission maintains its position that the self-defense argument against Lafuente, and all other suspects who have been killed in drug-related encounters with the police, must be brought to the court. Under Philippine and international law, police are only allowed to use force as a last resort, and even then, can only do the bare minimum to prevent further loss of life," it added.