Press Release
October 3, 2016

Cayetano: why weren't former PNP officials held liable for failure to solve killings during past admin

There had been thousands of killings in the country even before President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, but no official had been charged nor persecuted during the previous administration.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano highlighted this point during the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee probe on the alleged extrajudicial killings being linked to the government's war on drugs.

During the hearing on Monday (October 3), officials and members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were once again invited to shed light on the alleged spate of summary executions in the country. Also present were Davao City policemen identified by witness Edgar Matobato during the previous proceedings.

In his interpellation, Cayetano pointed out that based on the international definition of extrajudicial killings, thousands of EJK cases have been happening even during the past administration.

"... (T)he international definition of extrajudicial killing is any killing that is not by death penalty and not by a natural cause," he cited.

In 2015 alone, Cayetano said the number of killings recorded in the country reached 12,481. Similarly, a total of 16,160 killings were recorded in 2013, or an average of 1,300 cases per month.

This means that the number of killings during the past administration is almost similar to the recorded number during Duterte's first few months in office, Cayetano noted.

Despite this, PNP officials during the Aquino administration were never held liable for their failure to solve the cases, he added.

"For the whole 2015, under the Aquino administration, 12,481 extrajudicial killings. Kinasuhan ba ng command responsibility si [former PNP] Chief Director General Ricardo Marquez dahil hindi niya na-solve ang mga ito?" Cayetano said.

"The international committee is now saying na wala pang tatlong buwan si President Duterte... 3,000 na ang patay. But the average [number of killings] in 2013 was 1,300 per month... During the time of President Aquino, in 3 months 3,900 ang [cases of] extra judicial killings... So what is the difference between President Aquino and President Duterte? Why is one charged and the other is not when the numbers are very similar?" he lamented.

Cayetano said the only difference between the two administrations is that law enforcers today are more able to execute their job because they have the proper backing of the Palace.

He said the reason why there are many deaths caused by the PNP's anti-drug operations now is because the President has given police officers the go-signal to defend themselves against drug lords and suspects who fight back.

"The reason why there are a lot of deaths because of police operation is because a lot of the drug lords engage the police or endanger the lives of the police... But in Davao for example, if they surrender peacefully, you will make sure that their rights are protected," Cayetano said during his interpellation of former Davao City police retired Police Senior Supt. Dionisio Abude.

The senator further manifested that the successful anti-crime and -illegal drugs campaign in Davao City under Duterte's term as mayor is a testament to his administration's capacity to create real reforms.

"The Duterte administration's campaign against drugs is not a campaign to kill people indiscriminately, not to get rid of criminals extra judicially, but is a campaign to save the nation and save the generation from drugs. And these policemen will be able to testify how they do it in Davao," he said.

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