Filtered By: Topstories

Rep. Duterte seeks House probe on EJKs, rights abuses

Rep. Duterte seeks countrywide probe on EJKs, rights abuses

Davao City Representative Paolo Duterte has filed a resolution seeking a congressional investigation into the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country for the last 25 years.

Duterte made the proposal under House Resolution 1745, which he filed on May 22 or after the House Committee on Human Rights started its investigation on deaths associated with police anti-drug operations during the term of his father, former President Rodrigo Duterte. 

"As part of the duties and functions of the House of Representatives, it is prudent to revisit and scrutinize the surrounding circumstances behind the progressing extrajudicial killings in the country for at least a period covering the last 25 years up to the present and evaluate existing laws, rules, and regulations that uphold and promote the Constitutional guarantee against any form of human rights violation," Rep. Duterte said.

He said the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Philippine National Police (PNP) should cooperate with the congressional investigation as they are "deemed as most credible repositories of data on extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations."

According to the Davao City legislator, both the US Department of State and Amnesty International state that extrajudicial killings in the Philippines remain a serious problem even during the current Marcos administration.

He said based on police and DILG records, the cities of Manila, Cebu and Quezon City have recorded the highest number of extrajudicial killing incidents and other human rights violations.

Former President Duterte and other top officials of his administration are already being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in connection with alleged commission of crimes against humanity for systematic drug war deaths in police operations during his tenure.

The elder Duterte, however, has insisted that the Philippines is not under ICC jurisdiction due to Manila's unilateral withdrawal from the Rome Statute in March 2019. The Marcos administration also said it will not cooperate with the ICC regarding its investigation.

Based on government records, around 6,200 drug suspects were killed during the Duterte administration’s anti-drug police operations.

Human rights organizations, however, say that the number may reach 30,000 due to the unreported related killings.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr earlier said he is opposed to handling the country's drug problem in a violent way.


Meanwhile, two members of the Makabayan Coalition in the House of Representatives are wary of Duterte’s resolution, saying it seems to "expand" the ongoing probe by the human rights committee and "lessen" the attention on EJKs committed under the Duterte administration.

In a press briefing, Kabataan party-list Raoul Manuel said although all cases of extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses must be investigated, he pointed out that the numbers increased during the elder Duterte Administration.

"Consistent tayo na basta merong paglabag sa karapatang pantao, dapat naman talaga merong mapanagot. Pero when it comes to rights violations under a drug war, hindi natin maikakaila na meron talagang spike ito sa ilalim ni Rodrigo Duterte,” Manuel said.

"Dapat pag-ingatan ang motibo sa ganoong tipo ng sinusulong through that resolution,” he added.

(We're consistent that somebody should be held accountable if ever there is a human rights violation. But when it comes to violations under a drug war, we can't deny the spike under Rodrigo Duterte. We must be wary of the motive of that kind of investigation.)

Gabriela Women’s Party-List Rep Arlene Brosas, meanwhile, called the resolution "ironic" as it was filed a member of the Duterte family. —KBK, GMA Integrated News