The testimony of a purported witness who survived a bloody encounter between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the men of Ozamis Mayor Parojinong is deeply disturbing.

Serious accusations are being leveled against the police who participated in the operation. If these prove true, then what happened in Ozamis was not a legitimate police operation but a state-sanctioned massacre. It would carry the elements and blueprint of the extrajudicial killing of Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

I call on my fellow senators to uncover the truth behind this bloody incident. It is vital that there be a fair and independent investigation.

It is possible that the Parojinogs are part of the country's despicable drug trade. It is possible that the claim of the Parojinogs being drug lords is true. But the government unequivocally must not disregard and sidestep the rule of law, especially the rights enshrined in the rule of law concerning the prosecution of criminals.

The government is the protector of the law and of its people. It is not a syndicate or a mafia. The campaign of the government against society's criminals must not itself become a crime.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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