Fourteen of the 17-member Senate majority bloc on Sunday night signed a resolution condemning the spate of killings in police anti-drugs operations and calling for an investigation into the death of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos.
"Now therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved by the Senate, to express its condemnation against the recent spate of abuses by the police resulting in excessive and unnecessary deaths in the conduct of the campaign against illegal drugs, and to direct the appropriate Senate committee to inquire and review the conduct of anti-drug operation by the PNP (Philippine National Police) as well as capacitating the PNP as an institution, to hold erring officials within their ranks liable for the commission of any crime or offense," the resolution read.
On his Twitter account, Senator Joel Villanueva posted a photo of the resolution signed by 14 senators, including him.
The resolution will be turned over, as is, to the Senate committee on public order headed by Senator Panfilo Lacson, Villanueva said.
The resolution was signed after a majority caucus, reportedly held in Makati City.
The other senators who signed the resolution were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Vicente Sotto III, Ralph Recto, Sonny Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Greogio Honasan II, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Villanueva said Senators Nancy Binay and Francisco Escudero have already committed to sign the resolution.
Senator Manny Pacquiao has yet to sign it.
Lacson earlier told radio dzBB that the majority members are pushing to refer the investigation to the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, which he chairs.
The resolution considered that eyewitness accounts and CCTV footage belie the police's criminal allegations against the Grade 11 student.
It also recognized that Kian had "already [been] apprehended by the police" and was "forced to run with a gun" before he was shot.
The document noted that "similar incidents require deeper scrutiny to ensure the accountability of the PNP and its officers as they implement the campaign against illegal drugs."
Investigations conducted by the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) were described by senators as "sluggish" and unsuccessful at finding mitigating circumstances "even when not seemingly justified."
An amendment to R.A. No. 8551 known as the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998 would mandate the IAS to investigate, on its own complainant, all police operations which result in deaths, physical injuries, alleged human rights and rules of engagement violations, within five days from the time of the incident.
A report on the recommendation on whatever administrative and/or criminal charges should be filed against the police officers must be made within 15 days.
The changes were proposed so that the public "will not lose faith in the police and complain about the delay in the administration of justice."
PNP Director General Rolando "Bato" Dela Rosa was cited on the document as the public figure who guaranteed case investigations to each of the families who have lost family and loved ones due to the war against illegal drugs. —Margaret Claire Layug/ALG/BM, GMA News