De Lima: Cop killing suspect about to surrender 'clearly a crime'
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila De Lima on Wednesday, August 24, said the recent killing of a drug suspect about to surrender to authorities in Pasay City is "clearly" a criminal act.
On Tuesday, August 23, a video circulated online showing Pasay City police shooting a 20-year old pedicab driver while the alleged drug suspect was signifying his intent to surrender.
While she has not yet seen the actual video, De Lima said the description that reached her showed the act was clearly a summary execution.
“Klarado naman na ilegal 'yan. klarado na criminal act 'yan. Basta-basta mo na lang patayin na susuko, walang kalaban-laban. That is certainly a summary execution,” De Lima told reporters on the sidelines of the Senate local government hearing.
(That is clearly illegal. That is clearly a criminal act. You just suddenly killed a defenseless person about to surrender. That is certainly a summary execution.)
“Ang summary execution ay isang krimen po sa ating batas (Summary execution is a crime under our law),” De Lima added.
The public, De Lima said, should be alarmed over the incident.
“Nakakalungkot talaga 'yan, isa sa dahilan kung bakit lahat tayo ay dapat mabahala. Kasi bakit nagkakaroon ng ganyang sense of impunity on the part of the law enforcers na kung klarado naman na ilegal yan,” she said.
(It's really saddening. That is one of the reasons why all of us should be alarmed. Because why is there a sense of impunity on the part of the law enforcers when it is clearly illegal.)
De Lima said she might include the incident in the Senate probe into extrajudicial killings in the government's war or drugs. The senator has yet to present at least 9 witnesses. Other relatives of alleged drug-related killings have sent feelers to he, the senator said.
“Opo, kung may ganyang CCTV. Although katulad ng sinabi ko kahapon, even if 9 na lang ang witnesses namin out of 11 that we have, kasi dalawa tapos na, meron na ho kaming natatanggp na mga feelers since the first day,” she said.
(Yes if there is a CCTV like that. Although like what I said yesterday, even if we only have 9 out of 11 witnesses because the two were already presented, we have received feelers since the first day.)
“Meron po nagpapadala sa Facebook at sa cellphones ng aking mga staff na gusto rin daw nila dumulog sa CHR o sa akin dahil meron nga nangyari,” De Lima added.
(There are those who are sending feelers via Facebook and to the cellphones of my staff saying they also want to ask help from the Commission on Human Rights or me because something happened.)
The Commission on Human Rights, meanwhile, has already sent an investigation team.
Based on initial reports, CHR Chairperson Jose Luis Martin Gascon said there seems to be “excessive force” used against the suspect.
“Our NCR office has deployed an investigation team to prepare a fact-finding report, as with other cases, as this appears that excessive force was used,” Gascon told Rappler.
Gascon then urged the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP IAS) to probe the incident and file charges against policemen who violated protocols.
“We ask that this also be fully investigated by the PNP Internal Affairs Service and to file appropriate charges against those who have breached established protocols and standard,” he said.
For the CHR chief, the incident “casts doubt” on the usual self-defense reason of the police on the killings of suspects. (READ: Dela Rosa to Senate: We are not butchers)
“This casts doubt on the ‘nanlaban defense’ posited regarding deaths during police operations and prompts thorough review,” Gascon said. – Rappler.com