De Lima’s whimsical arbitrariness

Now read the accompanying operational guidelines she signed that pointed out the following:

1. Extra-Legal Killings (ELK) or Extra-Judicial Killings (EJK) – For purposes of operationalization and implementation of A.O. No. 35, the ELK/ElK will refer to killings wherein: 

a. The victim was:

b. The victim was targeted and killed because of the actual or perceived membership, advocacy, or profession; 

c. The person/s responsible for the killing is a state agent or non-state agent;

d. The method and circumstances of attack reveal a deliberate intent to kill; For purposes of the focused mandate of AO No . 35, killings related to common criminals and/or the perpetration of their crimes shall be addressed by other appropriate, mechanisms within the justice system.

(Translation: Killings related to illegal drugs involving drug lords, pushers; rape, homicide and murders perpetrated by persons under the influence of drugs, will have to be addressed by the police, not by the committee that looks into EJKs). 

It must be recalled that in 2012, national media was already reporting accounts of  torture and execution of known drug pushers by ‘vigilantes’ in many towns and cities.  But De Lima’s  A.O. chose to view these as mere “killings by common criminals,” not as EJKs. 

She added: "Our main challenge is make sure we have the full support of the PNP, NBI and the National Prosecution Service to see the spirit of A.O. No. 35 through… these institutional mechanisms, the perceived continuing culture of impunity." Well said. 

So what EJKs in the war on drugs is De Lima talking about? Another case of her whimsical arbitrariness? To cite 4,000 EJKs in four months is 743 more than the 3,257 persons reportedly killed during nine years of martial law. 

Is De Lima saying now that Duerte is worse than Marcos? Tell the mothers that. –

The author is editor-publisher of Sunday Punch in Dagupan City and consultant to Senator Alan Peter Cayetano