Slaying of 6 persons by police in ‘fabricated’ anti-drug operation prods CHR call for probe of ‘extra-judicial killings’

Published August 15, 2020, 11:35 AM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is “gravely concerned” over the report made by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that members of the San Jose del Monte City police were involved in a “fabricated” anti-drug operation back in February, which left six people dead.

The NBI recommended that charges be filed against the anti-drug unit chief of the San Jose del Monte City police and 10 of his subordinates.

CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement that the rhetoric of “nanlaban,” or those who fought back, has been abused by the police in its campaign against illegal drugs.  

“With the discovery of this anomalous operation, CHR echoes its call for the need to have an honest investigation of these alleged cases of extrajudicial killings in the country,” said de Guia. “The case of the San Jose Del Monte Police puts into question the true nature of all other deaths that have happened in the name of the so-called ‘drug war.’”

The United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Report, released back in June, highlighted the widespread human rights violations in the country, which included the systematic killing of thousands of drug suspects.

Given these facts, de Guia said it is high time for the government to acknowledge that its campaign against illegal drugs has “effects” on human lives and the rights of people, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalized.  

“We cannot afford to lose even one, single innocent life,” she stressed. “CHR calls upon the government to stay true to its promise that it will not dodge its human rights obligations.”

De Guia said that the NBI investigations should not stop during this one instance, and stressed that it should continue so that other similar cases will be tried before courts for proper adjudication and administration of justice.

“The CHR is challenging the government to demonstrate its commitment to uphold human rights by ensuring that it lives up to its duty of protecting and upholding the human rights of all – even when no one is looking,” she said.