Senators want probe on ‘bloody Sunday’ killing in Calabarzon

Senators on Monday push for an investigation on the alleged “bloody Sunday” in Calabarzon wherein 9 activists were killed and six were arrested during series of raids in the region over the weekend.

Senator Risa Hontiveros said the killings were due to “this administration’s high level of disrespect towards basic human rights.”

“I am calling for a thorough investigation by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR),” she said.

“We will also consider filing a bill penalizing red tagging as a separate and distinct crime because those fighting to protect our basic rights should not be silenced,” she added.

“The 1987 Constitution itself guarantees all Filipinos freedom of speech and expression and freedom of assembly. Hindi pwedeng ipawalang-bisa ng pamahalaan ang mga karapatan na ito kahit kailan,” the senator said.

Meanwhile, Senator Leila De Lima said, “Kailangang matigil na ang walang habas na pag-atake sa karapatang pantao. Kailangan ding managot ang mga salarin. The intensifying attacks warrant the attention and condemnation of the Filipino people and the international community.”

“For this regime, government critics, activists and other truth-seekers can be, and are being branded as enemies of the State, making them targets of Duterte’s ‘kill, kill, kill’ policy.  Kailangang magtuloy-tuloy ang pagkondena at paniningil.  We will not stop until these murderers are held accountable for their crimes,” said De Lima, who was still detained due to cases related to illegal drugs.

Senators want probe on ‘bloody Sunday’ killing in Calabarzon

Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe said police operations should strictly follow due process, as mandated by the Constitution.

“It is the mandate of law enforcers to ensure that these guarantees are observed and not just dismiss nonchalantly cries of possible human rights violations,” she said.

“Protecting the right to life should have the highest threshold in our quest for peace and order,” she added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson noted the need to establish a clear guide on how to conduct anti-insurgency operations.

“It goes without saying that the only legal justification to kill an adversary is in defense of oneself or another person,” Lacson said, a former PNP chief.

“Having said that, prematurely jumping into the conclusion of a contrived or  deliberate intent to kill on the part of the law enforcement officers won’t help in any way the CHR and other investigating bodies tasked to look into the issue at hand,” he added.