CHR monitors 55 alleged EJKs during COVID-19 lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2020 08:57 AM | Updated as of Jul 02 2020 09:40 AM

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MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights said Thursday it recorded 55 complaints of alleged extrajudicial judicial killings during the country's lockdown against COVID-19.

"Even in terms of numbers, even if it slowed down, it’s still a death, it’s still an EJK allegation," CHR commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit told ANC.

The body monitored 817 complaints related to the virus, with most about government assistance and cash aid, followed by torture and inhumane and degrading treatment, Gomez-Dumpit said.

The body, meantime, welcomed government's creation of an inter-agency panel that would investigate thousands of drug war-related deaths following the UN Commission on Human Rights rebuke on the Philippines' anti-narcotics campaign.

"We hope there’s better cooperation, full transparency. And we need to get access to all these reports that have been kept form us including reports, autopsy," Gomez-Dumpit said.

"Even the victims lament this, that they can only get spot reports when they also have a right to info about how their relatives have been killed."

UN human rights chief Michelle Batchelet had described the state of killings in the Philippines as "widespread, systematic, and ongoing."

"The campaign against illegal drugs is being carried out without due regard for the rule of law, due process and the human rights of people who may be using or selling drugs," she said.

As of posting, the CHR said it has investigated more than 4,000 EJK allegations and monitored 11 cases in courts, 16 in the prosecutio, 17 at the Office of the Ombudsman and 52 at the police's Internal Affairs Service.

Authorities say some 5,000 users or pushers who resisted arrest have been killed in government's crackdown on illegal drugs, but rights groups say the actual number of dead is at least three times higher.

Critics have alleged the crackdown amounts to a war on the poor that feeds an undercurrent of impunity and lawlessness in the nation of 106 million.