No proof of state-sponsored killings, senate panel says

A Senate panel ruled out any proof of state-sponsored killings under the intensified anti-drug campaign under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

It also failed to prove the existence of the so-called vigilante group Davao Death Squad (DDS) and President Duterte's alleged hand in the killings of suspected drug lords and other criminals when he was then Davao City mayor.

This was the finding in the 100-page committee report submitted by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, chaired by Senator Richard "Dick" Gordon joint with the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, chaired by Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson on Wednesday.

Eleven senators have signed the committee report including Senators Richard "Dick" Gordon, Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II, Loren Legarda, Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, Nancy Binay, Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, and Vicente "Tito" Sotto III.

Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Franklin Drilon signed but have reservations and intention to make amendments and interpellate while Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan signed with the intention to concur in part.

Meanwhile the five senators who did not sign the committee report were Senators Leila de Lima, Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV, Ralph Recto, Grace Poe and Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito.

Grace Poe failed to sign the committee report since she was on official business trip while Ejercito failed to sign because he is currently serving his 90-day suspension order from the Supreme Court.

Despite the lack of proof of state-sponsored killings, Gordon pointed out that absence of clear and quick action to resolve such killings and cops' disregard on cleaning its ranks.

He also advised President Duterte to "be a better role model" and "be careful with his words" as head of state.

The senator also noted that law enforcement officers should respect the Constitutional rights of the accused especially when conducting operations such as Project "Tokhang" or house visits.

De Lima, who was among the five who did not sign the committee report, said that she is currently preparing a dissenting report which she intends to submit on Monday (Dec 12).

She said that she was upset by how the proceedings were abruptly terminated and how other witnesses prepared by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) never got to testify.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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