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The moral dilemma of extra judicial killings

And that is the moral dilemma of Extra Judicial Killings (EJK) by the police. Guided by a moral certainty that they are cleansing Philippine society from the dregs of drugs, the police are given the license to be reckless and absolute—the police power to investigate, to prosecute, to deny defense, to judge, and to execute people. By simply claiming that they were attacked by the suspects, (which needs to be factually and legally established as well), the police have abrogated and destabilized the whole procedure. While they may be killing factually guilty people (actual drug dealers and users), there is an undeniably huge chance that many of the dead people may turn out legally innocent, if only given the proper forum to defend themselves. (READ: Duterte on EJK: Better for criminals to kill each other)

Additionally, EJK is a uniform set of capital punishment that does not distinguish the level seriousness of the offense: a first time drug user is quite different from an incorrigible drug dealer but are treated the same way—they are both dead. As such, police EJK takes away the power from judges to determine the proportionate amount of punishments. EJK removes the opportunity for correctional workers to rehabilitate drug users. While EJK is swift and severe, it is procedurally flawed and invites and creates more injustices.

While we abhor crime and drug use in the country, and we recognize the slow procedures that afflict our criminal justice system, these should NOT be an excuse for reckless killings. While we denounce the corrupt practices of the prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges, and the failure of the legal profession in the Philippines, these frailties should NOT be an excuse to undermine our already fragile laws and weak constitution.

Otherwise, we are all morally guilty in the wanton genocide of our own people. - Rappler.com