CHR to probe 'on its own initiative’ death of 52-year-old woman in QC

Published June 1, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

Commission on Human Rights

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will conduct a motu proprio (on its own initiative) investigation on what it called “gravely concerning” death of Lilibeth Valdez, a 52-year-old woman who was shot by an allegedly drunk police officer in Barangay Greater Fairview in Quezon City last May 31.

The shooting incident can be viewed in a video circulating online. The video shows the police officer, identified as Police Master Sgt. Hensie Zinampan, pulling the victim’s hair before shooting her on her neck.

Zinampan, who was assigned to the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Police Security and Protection Group, has been turned over to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) in Camp Karingal, Quezon City.

Police reports stated that Zinampan had also previously threatened and had been involved in an altercation with Valdez’s son during a drinking spree earlier last May.

CHR Spokesperson and lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia said “this incident is gravely concerning as we expect our police to ‘serve and protect,’ and not be at the frontlines of violating rights, let alone arbitrarily curtailing one’s right to life.”

“We note the directive of the Chief of the PNP to the Quezon City Police District to file murder and administrative cases against Zinampan,” she added.

Since there have been a string of recent deaths and killings being attributed to police officers, De Guia said the CHR is urging the PNP to translate commitments of internal cleansing into actual reduction of cases of human rights violations on the ground.

“One death is one too many,” lamented De Guia. “We urge the government to address these violations with the larger view that the protection of human rights is primarily a State obligation,” she stressed.