MANILA - Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday urged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to educate Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on the meaning and concept of extra-judicial killings (EJKs).
This, after the PNP said the spate of deaths amid the government's war on drugs should be dubbed as "homicides," and not as EJKs.
"Paging the CHR - Kindly educate Gen. Dela Rosa and other public functionaries on the meaning and concept of EJKs," De Lima said in a statement written from her detention cell.
"Paging also the Senate Justice & Human Rights Committee - when will you calendar please for consideration my anti-EJK bill?" she added.
She said government officials are "in a state of denial" about the existence of EJKs in the country.
"Evidently, state authorities are in a state of denial about the existence of EJKs in our country today. Since they refuse to recognize the problem, it's understandable that they also refuse to fix it. But they should at least realize that there will surely be a day of reckoning..." De Lima wrote.
De Lima said the government should be more concerned about "eternal damnation" than about its image in the international community.
"If they're concerned about embarrassment before the eyes of the world, they should worry about eternal damnation."
In a press conference Monday, Chief Supt. Augusto Marquez, PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management, said EJKs are defined under Administrative Order 25 as the murders of journalists and members of political, environmental, agrarian or labor groups.
The use of EJKs to refer to drug-related killings was only used by members of the media, Dela Rosa claimed.
"Gumamit ba kami (PNP) ng 'EJK'? Give me one single presentation na the PNP is using the term EJK. No. It is the media that is insisting to use the term EJK," he said.