De Lima condemns deaths of children in military, police ops

Published June 19, 2021, 7:13 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Leila de Lima condemned on Saturday, June 19, the killings of teenagers in separate police and military operations.

Senator Leila de Lima (Senate of the Philippines)

“Last month, it was an 18-year old with autism. On Tuesday, a 12-year old Lumad was killed in an alleged indiscriminate firing by the military. On Wednesday, a 16-year old boy was killed in a police operation. Nanlaban daw (They fought it out, police claimed),” the staunch administration critic said in a statement.

“There should be prompt and effective investigations of these EJKs (extrajudicial killings) of our children, and perpetrators should be held accountable. Tama na ang kultura ng patayan at impunidad (Let’s end the culture of killings and impunity)!” she added.

Angel Rivas, 12, was among those killed in what the Philippine Army insisted was a legitimate encounter between its troops and alleged New People’s Army (NPA) members in Lianga, Surigao del Sur last Tuesday, June 15.

Her sister Lenie and another companion were members of an indigenous people’s group.

On Wednesday, June 16, 16-year-old Johndy Maglinte was also shot dead by police officers in an anti-drug operation in Biñan, Laguna. Police claimed the teen fired at cops when they were serving an arrest warrant against his companion, who was a drug suspect.

“These killings of young individuals are another proof of failure of the State to protect children, youth, including indigenous peoples from summary execution and extrajudicial killings,” De Lima said.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III also acknowledged the deaths of the minors.

“Recently, 12-2021-old dead and 16-2021-old dead,” Pimentel wrote on Twitter.

Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier called for a Senate inquiry on the “unabated” killings of children by state forces.