The New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch has taken exception to Senator Ronald Dela Rosa's comment that "shit" happened in cases of innocents getting killed in the conduct of anti-drug operations.
Carlos Conde, HRW Philippines researcher, said Dela Rosa's remark showed "an uncaring, even contemptuous, attitude to Myca Ulpina and, by extension, the dozens of other children killed in the brutal campaign."
Myca was the three-year old who died after she got shot over the weekend in the buy-bust operation against her father, a drug suspect in Rodriguez, Rizal.
Police investigators said she was used as human shield by her father, a claim that has been disputed by their loved ones who were also present during the drug raid.
"His contempt for the victims of the drug war makes his reported chairmanship of the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs a travesty," Conde said.
"It also suggests that he cannot be expected to independently investigate the conduct of law enforcers, let alone the killings themselves," he added.
The HRW is one of the staunchest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs and the thousands of deaths that have been attributed to the campaign.
Dela Rosa, President Rodrigo Duterte's first chief of the Philippine National Police, was the chief implementer of the war on drugs.
"Dela Rosa should be reminded that he, too, will answer for his complicity in the slaughter of thousands," Conde said.
Dela Rosa, on Thursday said at a news forum that said police would always ensure that there would be no collateral damage but things sometimes go awry.
“Sino ba may gusto, ikaw ba pulis ka gusto mong may batang matamaan? Never, kasi ikaw may anak ka rin. Hindi mo gustong may mangyaring ganun pero shit happens during operations,” Dela Rosa said during the Kapihan sa Senado. —NB, GMA News