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CHR monitoring complaints vs. cops tagged in death of 4 'Tokhang' victims

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Wednesday it is keeping an eye on the complaints filed against the policemen linked to the killing of four drug suspects in Quezon City in 2016.

This came after a Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) acquitted Efren Morillo, the sole survivor in the incident, of the direct assault charge against then police operatives Emil Garcia, Allan Formilleza, James Aggarao, and Melchor Navisaga.

“To date, CHR is similarly monitoring the administrative and criminal complaints filed against the policemen involved pending before the Office of the Ombudsman,” CHR said in a statement.

The Commission also welcomed the decision of MeTC to acquit Morillo, stressing it was a “testament to the importance of pursuing truth so that justice may prevail.”

In 2016, policemen shot and killed, supposedly without warning, four drug suspects in a raid at a house at Group 9, Area B, Barangay Payatas, Quezon City.

Morillo played dead after police shot him in the chest.

CHR said it conducted its own investigation on the case and resolved in 2018 that Morillo, alongside other victims killed during the drug raid, “were unlawfully arrested and summarily executed by the respondents-policemen.”

“The said CHR Resolution affirmed that said acts were human rights violations committed by enforcement authorities in the form of arbitrary arrest and arbitrary deprivation of life,” it added.

“Presumption of regularity in the performance of a public official’s functions cannot be used as a shield for deliberately debasing human rights and dignity.”

CHR also repeated its call on the Marcos government to scrutinize all cases of human rights violations allegedly linked to the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, including cases of alleged extrajudicial killings.—Giselle Ombay/AOL, GMA Integrated News