- Lawmakers are at odds whether to probe the recent spate of summary executions or not.
- Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Miguel Zubiri all agree that it is not yet necessary to investigate the supposed extrajudicial killings due to lack of evidence and formal complaints.
- Senator Leila De Lima and Rep. Teddy Baguilat believe that senate and congressional probes are needed in order to protect human rights and prevent abuse from police officers.
Lawmakers are currently divided on the issue of investigating the recent rise in alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, the incoming House Speaker, said on Sunday that he does not see the need to prioritize the investigations of extrajudicial killings of people allegedly involved with drugs and should instead focus on passing important measures that will move the country forward.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who is set to lead the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, said that there are no investigations currently needed because no formal complaints have been filed.
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“I won’t call for any investigation unless somebody will come out and present, even a probability, that there was summary execution. If that’s the case, I will,” Lacson explained.
The senator added that the reports of extrajudicial killings in the country should be treated as mere rumors, hearsays, and speculations for now because no solid evidence has been presented yet.
Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri agreed that there is no need for a congressional inquiry about the rise of extrajudicial killings in the country and that the police should not be accused of summary executions.
“You can see their camera crews together with the police when they cover these operations. So I think these are legitimate operations. On my part, I will give the cops the benefit of the doubt,” Zubiri said in a radio interview.
He also expressed his belief that the government officials should instead focus on helping the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte eliminate the illegal drug trade in the Philippines.
On the other hand, Senator Leila De Lima has insisted on conducting a Senate inquiry into the alleged extrajudicial killings to protect human rights.
Ifugao Representative Teddy “Brawner” Baguilat has also filed a resolution calling for a congressional inquiry on the series of alleged summary executions of drug criminals.