CenterLaw condems ‘unbridled violence in law enforcement’

Published March 10, 2021, 11:19 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The Center for International Law (CenterLaw) has condemned “the unbridled use of violence in law enforcement operations” in the country.

“What is more alarming is that procedural rules before the courts have been exploited to facilitate and lend legitimacy to the attacks,” it said.

In a statement, it urged the police and the military “to carry out their duties with full respect for legal processes and within the confines of the law,”

It reiterated its “demand for accountability for all past abuses and to put an end to the terror that has become so commonplace in our society.”

It also called on the Supreme Court (SC) “to undertake its duty by promulgating rules aimed at safeguarding constitutional rights.”

CenterLaw, a group of lawyers advocating the rule of law and respect for human rights, issued the statement that condemned the killings last March 7 by the military and the police of nine persons suspected of ties to communist rebels in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, and Cavite.

“The series of violent attacks and arrests that took place within the span of a week is but a grim reminder of the larger pattern of impunity plaguing the country,” it said.

“They are repeated intrusions on fundamental liberties and civic spaces reserved for the healthy and constitutionally protected exercise of dissent,” it said as it lamented “the culture of killing and violence that continues to thrive under the auspices of power.”

It pointed out that the latest crackdown of activist groups “comes immediately in the wake of a public kill order made by the Chief Executive, with a call for the police and military to ignore human rights.”