Hontiveros seeks Senate probe on 'unabated' police killings, brutality on teens

Published June 18, 2021, 4:46 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Risa Hontiveros is calling for Senate inquiry on the “unabated” killings during police operations, particularly the deaths of children and teenagers.

Senator Risa Hontiveros (Senate PRIB)

The opposition senator issued the appeal Friday, June 18, following the death of another teenager, 16-year-old Johndy Maglinte, who was allegedly killed by police officers in an anti-drug operation in Biñan, Laguna.

Police claimed Maglinte shot it out with officers who were serving an arrest warrant against his companion. Maglinte’s family, however, denied this and alleged that he was shot while lying face down and handcuffed.

“Johndy, at 16, is still a child according to our laws. Anong laban ng isang bata sa isang armadong institusyon? Bakit ba ang lalakas ng loob ng ilan sa mga pulis na mang-api at kumitil ng mga kabataang walang kalaban-laban (How can a child fight against an armed institution? Why are some policemen too brazen to abuse and kill children)?” Hontiveros said in her statement.

“This is a serious human rights violation that needs to be investigated,” she said.

She disclosed that she will file a resolution that would prompt an investigation on the matter, in aid of legislation.

Hontiveros, who chairs the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, recalled the killing of teenagers Kian delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz, and Reynaldo de Guzman during the implementation of the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs”.

International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda recently recommended a formal investigation on the murders allegedly committed by state forces in the anti-illegal drug campaign.

“Maglinte’s death should never be considered an isolated case. These operations have been constantly posing a real danger to our youth,” Hontiveros pointed out.

“This relentless, unabated slaughter of our people must stop. I will do all I can to make sure the perpetrators are brought to justice,” she added.

Government officials, she said, “should stop defending their brutal policies and focus their resources on pursuing a public health approach to problematic drug use.”

“In the middle of a pandemic, no less, this administration continues to inflict nationwide emotional trauma on Filipinos. This should never be the status quo,” Hontiveros said.