Parish priest blasts drug-related killings in QC village during pandemic
MANILA - There have been at least 10 drug-related killings in the urban-poor small community of Barangay Pinyahan in Quezon City since January, its parish priest said Monday.
Nine of the killings were reported since the pandemic began and 7 were recorded within just five weeks from July 15 to Aug. 20, according to Fr. Robert Reyes.
"It may be true that some of them were connected with the drug trade but I explain to people that still does not justify the killings, You don’t just execute a person on suspicion…he should go to trial. There is due process," he told ANC.
Reyes said he has spoken with the village chief and the police officer in charge of the area but both officials were "reluctant" in addressing the issue.
"It’s difficult talking to them because when I propose certain things like writing a joint letter addressed to the community, coming out live on the Facebook of the barangay, they were reluctant and unwilling to be sharing the same space with me sharing the same things," he said.
Among those killed were a former barangay kagawad who was shot dead in front of his house on July 30, Reyes said.
"Three men who fired bullets at Jonathan pointed the guns at the people trying to help Jonathan. And so these men pumped around 9 bullets on Jonathan's body," he said.
On July 20, a balut vendor was sitting and selling his goods when he was gunned down.
"I was walking towards a meeting and I heard the shots. I found myself in front of the victims before any of the policemen came," Reyes said.
Some 8,663 drug suspects have so far been killed under the government's anti-narcotics war, according to a report by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights based on official figures.