Nene Pimentel: EJKs not allowed in PH 'then, now, or ever'
MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator president Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr reminded the public on Thursday, September 21, that extrajudicial killings will never be alowed and that those in power should respect the right to life.
He made the statement while recalling the horrors of Martial Law on the anniversary of the signing of the desposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Proclamation 1081 – the start of almost 10 years of military rule in the Philippines.
“Several thousands disappeared, ang ibig sabihin noon pinatay (which really means were killed),” he said. “Extrajudicial killings which should not be allowed then, or now, or ever in this country.”
Pimentel, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, said that government officials “sometimes forget” that it is their duty to protect the rights of the people. He then urged the people to stand up for their freedoms.
“If you cannot enjoy the effects of having freedom to life, if your liberty is at whim and caprice of those in power, anong klaseng freedom iyan (what kind of freedom is that?)” he said.
When asked whether the situation now reflects the regime of Marcos, Pimentel said that the situation is definitely much worse then but it doesn’t erase the EJKs now.
“Of course mas grabe noon pero iyong mga EJK na narinig 'nyo ngayon, palagay ko hindi rin dapat,” he told reporters on the sideline of a Commission on Human Rights (CHR) event.
“Ang ibig mong sabihin na kapag ang isang tao na suspetya mong kriminal, barilin mo na lang? Hindi pwede iyon because there’s such a thing as due process of law in a democracy,” Pimentel added.
(Of course it’s much worse then but the EJKs we hear now, I think those are not right. Do you mean that even if you suspect the person to be criminal, he can be shot immediately? That’s not right because there’s such a thing as due process of law in a democracy.)
Groups have compared the regimes of Marcos and Duterte due to their blatant disregard of human rights.
Considered the darkest chapter in Philippine history, Marcos' Martial Law saw about 70,000 people imprisoned, 34,000 tortured, and 3,240 killed, according to Amnesty International. (READ: #NeverAgain: Martial Law stories young people need to hear)
Duterte’s violent war on drugs, meanwhile, has claimed the lives of more than 4,500 people in police operations, with non-government groups estimating the number to reach more than 20,000 including victims of vigilante killings. (READ: The Impunity Series) – Rappler.com
News you can use about Martial Law:
- SCHEDULE: 46th Martial Law anniversary protests, activities
- Martial Law 101: Things you should know
- Gone too soon: 7 youth leaders killed under Martial Law
- What's the issue with Marcos' World War II 'medals' again?
- FALSE: 'No massacres' during Martial Law
- #NeverAgain: Martial Law stories young people need to hear
- #AnimatED: Millennial, paano ka apektado ng martial law?