Lawmakers from the Makabayan Bloc on Tuesday sought a congressional inquiry into the death of three-year-old Kate Leen Myca Ulpina who was caught in a crossfire during a police operation in Rodriguez, Rizal, last month.
Ulpina was laid to rest on Tuesday. In a Balitangali report by Dano Tingcungco, Myca’s family appealed for justice during the funeral at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Rodriguez, Rizal.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights has accepted the public apology of Senator Ronald dela Rosa over his remarks on the death of Ulpina.
“We welcome the apology of Senator Ronald de la Rosa on the unfortunate remark he made about the death of a three-year old being a collateral damage of a buy-bust operation in Rodriguez, Rizal,” lawyer-spokesman Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.
“However, may this be a reminder to all public officials to always protect the primacy of the right to life―both in words and actions. We cannot diminish its importance, alongside all other human rights, as they are crucial in living a dignified life.”
In House Resolution 41, Representatives Carlos Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite, Eufemia Cullamat of Bayan Muna, Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, and France Castro of ACT Teachers denounced the death of Ulpina.
“The death of Kateleen Myca Ulpina is the latest addition to the list of over one hundred minors killed in the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign,” the congressmen said.
They said in the resolution that Myca’s mother had already belied the police’ claim that the little girl was used as a human shield by his drug suspect father Renato, claiming that police broke in and smashed their windows while they were sleeping without a warrant of arrest or any legal documents.
Citing data from the Philippine National Police the lawmakers also said at least 29,000 cases of killings classified as deaths under inquiry had been recorded nationwide since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his crackdown on illegal drugs.
“There has been a surge of killings nationwide of suspected criminals, mostly identified by the police as suspected drug dealers, pushers or even mere users, but targeting impoverished areas and have victimized mostly the youth,” the resolution said.
The resolution said the drug war “has impaired the future of thousands of Filipino children who continue to grapple with the psychological, emotional, social and economic impact of the killings of their loved ones, and worse, Filipino children themselves being the casualties of police operations.”
PNP chief Oscar Albayalde earlier ordered the relief of the police chief of Rodriguez, Rizal, and 20 of his men to pave the way for an impartial investigation into Myca’s death.
Lt. Col. Resty Damaso and his men involved in the operation were reassigned to the provincial holding and administrative unit pending the result of the investigation.
Senior Master Sgt. Conrado Cabigao Jr., who acted as a poseur buyer, was killed in the operation after one of Renato’s cohorts recognized him as an undercover cop and shot him. With Rio N. Araja