MANILA, Philippines — There should be no deaths in the implementation of the Duterte administration’s anti-narcotics campaign and that version of “death penalty,” which resulted in the recent spike in drug killings, should not have been carried out by authorities, especially when the country has already abolished capital punishment.
Senate president Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III issued this statement Monday after the Upper Chamber’s majority bloc moved for the investigation of the recent escalation of the police’s drug-related killings in Bulacan and Metro Manila, including the death of Grade 11 student Kian Loyd Delos Santos.
“Dapat kasi naman wala namang namamatay in the ordinary course of events kasi una sa lahat, wala naman tayong death penalty. At kung may death penalty, hindi naman ganyan ang pag-implement ng death penalty,” Pimentel said during an interview with dzMM radio.
[There should be no one dying in the ordinary course of events because in the first place, we don’t have a death penalty. And if there’s death penalty, that’s not the way to implement it.]
While acknowledging that there is of course a law on self-defense — the reason often cited by the police on why the number of drug deaths escalates — Pimentel said the Senate majority bloc, during a caucus Sunday night, decided to validate via a legislative inquiry whether the spike in the killings was really because of “nanlaban” incidents.
“So titingnan po natin ito. Ano ba ang mechanics nitong Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded?…Klaro ba sa pulis kailan sila dapat gagamit ng baril nila o when they are allowed to…employ force? Tatanungin po natin lahat ito,” he said.
[So we will look into this. What are the mechanics of this Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded?…Is it clear among policemen when they should use their guns or when they are allowed to employ force? We will ask all of these.]
The Senate Committee on Public Order chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson was requested by the majority bloc to lead the investigation into the drug killings, according to Pimentel.
“Ang mangyayari po sa resolusyon, ang first reading n’yan will be referred to the public order (committee) chaired by Senator Lacson and s’ya na mag-schedule sa hearing n’ya,” said the Senate president.
[What will happen to the resolution is that its first reading will be referred to the Senate Public Order Committee chaired by Sen. Lacson and he will be the one to schedule the hearing.]