The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) declared it will be “in pursuit of justice” together with the families of two minors killed in separate incidents.
Last June 15, a 12-year-old girl who was a member of the Lumad indigenous people (IP) in Zamboanga del Sur was killed reportedly by the military.
Last June 17, a 16-year-old boy was killed during a police operation against illegal drugs in Binan, Laguna.
Killed in Zamboanga del Sur, together with two farmers, was minor Angel Rivas.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) report in Laguna stated that Johndy Maglinte, 16, and his companion, Antonio Dalit, were another case of “nanlaban” (someone who fought back) while they were serving a warrant for a drug charge against Dalit.
The PNP said an exchange of gunfire with the police eventually led to their deaths.
However, Maglinte’s live-in partner, who is also a minor, had a different recollection. She said during several media interviews that the policemen killed Dalit first, and since Maglinte witnessed the killing, the police handcuffed him, dragged him into a muddy area, and shot him face down.
CHR Spokesperson and lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia said they will be in “pursuit of justice” should it be proven that a human rights violation was indeed committed by the cops.
De Guia said the CHR is also prodding the government to do its part in seeking out the truth. “We strongly urge the government to speed up their investigations on cases of alleged extrajudicial killings, especially those linked to the government’s drug campaign,” she said.
“Notably, there was already an observation from the UN Human Rights Office on the ‘widespread and systematic killing of thousands of alleged drug suspects’ and the persistent impunity in the country that urgently need to be addressed,” she stressed.
She said that the CHR has been reminding the government of its primary obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of all.
Should there be any lapses in this obligation, the government should urgently address these and implement reforms and accountability mechanisms, she also said.