'Expansive, serious' Senate probe of unresolved killings urged

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 29 2021 01:20 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2021 01:45 PM

'Expansive, serious' Senate probe of unresolved killings urged 1
Jose Arce Malonzo slumps face down in front of his house on R-10 in Navotas after being shot by police during an anti-drug operation on Aug. 18, 2017 for resisting arrest. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - A global watchdog on Friday called on the Senate to conduct a more "expansive and serious" investigation on the spate of killings in the country, which they said would cover Philippine National Police's alleged complicity into the incidents.

"What we need to see is an honest to goodness accounting of the PNP's conduct in the past 4 years, specifically related to the killings," Carlos Conde, Asia researcher of the New York-based Human Rights Watch, told ANC.

Over 6,000 people died from the government’s brutal campaign against illegal drugs, he noted.

The Senate committees on justice and public order on Thursday conducted a joint hearing on the country's unresolved killings, which include lawyers, health workers, and priests.

While HRW welcomed the upper House's efforts in investigating the incidents, Conde said it was long overdue.

"They should have done this a long time ago. They should have been more resilient and robust in response to the killings and all the cases where the police are implicated," he said.

As President Rodrigo Duterte has less than 2 years left in his term, Conde believed the senators were "trying to repair whatever damage their support for Duterte may have caused them."

"Also the fact that the violations of human rights and the egregiousness of atrocities that has been committed in the past 4 years, and in fact, even more recently, I think is much too serious to ignore," he said.

Conde also opposed proposal of newly appointed National Police Commission commissioner Vitaliano Aguirre II of placing the Internal Affairs Service and Scene of the Crime Operation under the latter's agency.

"With due respect to him, he was the cheerleader of the... drug war killings in the beginning. So, he doesn't have the credibility to now say IAS and SOCO should be under the Napolcom," he said.

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