Malacañang leaves to the wisdom of lawmakers passage of mandatory autopsy bill

Published August 18, 2019, 1:15 PM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has left to the wisdom of lawmakers whether or not to push for a bill seeking mandatory autopsies on crime victims in the country.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo explained that the Palace will not meddle in the affairs of the legislative branch.

“Kung ‘yan ang gusto nila, eh di gawin nila [If that’s what they want, so let them do it],” Panelo said in a radio interview.

“We will not intrude into the wisdom of the lawmakers who want to pass this into law. Hayaan mo na sila [Let them be],” he added.

Senator Francis Pangilinan recently refiled Senate Bill 428 seeking mandatory autopsies on crime victims in a bid to hasten the murder investigation.

Under the bill, there will be mandatory autopsies on bodies of those “believed to have died in a violent, suspicious, questionable, unusual and/or unnatural manner.” The measure was first filed last January 2017 but has been pending at the committee level.

When asked if the measure will be certified as urgent by the President, Panelo insisted that it was up to the lawmakers to make the decision.

“Nasa kanila ‘yun. Sa Palasyo, hindi kami nag-i-interfere or nakikialaam sa isang sangay ng gobyeryno [It’s up to them. The Palace does not interfere with the work of another branch of government],” he said.

The proposed Mandatory Autopsy Act has been refiled amid the second anniversary of the killing of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos during a police operation in Caloocan.

“The original purpose of this measure is to help investigate the increasing daily killings way back in 2017. Back then, the victim tally has been at 7,000. At present, the so-called deaths under investigation have reached over 20,000, including children,” Pangilinan said.

“Clearly, there is a need to legislate measures that will help us solve cases swiftly and efficiently,” the senator added.