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​CHR commences investigations into extrajudicial killings

Graphic: Speakers take part at a CHR media conference

The CHR said it has started investigations into a number of cases of extrajudicial killings that have taken place in cities across the Philippines.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has expressed alarm at the unprecedented surge in the number of deaths in less than a week – with counts reaching around 80 in the towns of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and areas of Metro Manila – including the killing of 17-year old Kian Loyd delos Santos in Caloocan City.

In a statement the CHR said that it has started investigations into these new cases of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).

"The Commission through its regional offices has already commenced its motu proprio investigation on the alleged EJK cases. Investigators have been dispatched to Bulacan, Biñan, Laguna and Manila since the killings happened," said Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, Head of the CHR's EJK Task Force.

Motu proprio investigations are initiatives taken by the Commission without a formal complainant.

Investigators in the CHR-NCR Region have coordinated with the delos Santos family. The parents already gave their permission to conduct an autopsy on Kian.

"This case is so tragic and CHR has been doing its part. We want to make sure that the case is attended promptly and thoroughly," Commissioner Pimentel-Gana said.

The CHR has consistently clarified to the public and to the media that the institution is not opposed to the administration's campaign against illegal drugs. However, the CHR believes that the methodology that the government is currently implementing puts the lives of the Filipino people in danger.

The CHR noted that the 80 people killed in the "one-time, big-time" operations this week also translates to 80 families grieving for the loss of their relatives, children orphaned and women widowed.

The CHR believes that the drug abuse problem in the Philippines is rooted in the socio-economic ills of the society, such as poverty and unemployment. Victims of drug abuse, who mostly belong to poor and vulnerable sectors, need rehabilitation, psychological support and sustainable livelihood in order to refrain from the lucrative illegal drug trade.

The CHR also calls the attention of the government to consider alternative means in the campaign against illegal drugs.

The full statement is available on the CHR's website

Date: 20 August 2017

Source: Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines

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  1. Speakers take part at a CHR media conference - Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines