SENATOR Richard Gordon said Sunday there was no proof of state-sponsored killings as a result of the government’s war on illegal drugs.
He made the statement after six Senate hearings on the alleged summary killings of drug users and pushers by the police under the Duterte administration.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate justice and human rights committee, said President Rodrigo Duterte was motivated to stop the distribution and use of illegal drugs because he wanted to eradicate illegal drugs.
“I don’t think he is really going to push anybody and say kill,” Gordon said.
But Senator Leila de Lima insisted that the killing of suspected drug personalities was systematic because it was “state-inspired at the very least.
“Of course they would always [say] ‘No, it’s not state-sponsored.’ Okay, it’s not state-sponsored but state-inspired. They’re just the same.
“Look at all the pronouncements of the President, all his lieutenants like [Police Chief Ronald] Dela Rosa. And then the reports about policemen themselves doing the killings in the course of police operations.
Not only in police operations, but these so-called vigilante killings. It’s a mixture—the ones responsible for the vigilante killings, unidentified perpetrators or assailants, those we see with masking tape.”
Gordon, who intends to file a committee report either today (Monday) or within the week on the result of his committee’s hearings, said things were not perfect but the rule of law prevailed in the land.
“You can see that the branches of government are working. There is a rule of law. The Rule Book has not been thrown out of the window.”
He said they had gathered sufficient information to submit a report with recommendations as to the possible remedies to the problem”•including proposed measures that would make law enforcers to follow the law.
He said his committee would also recommend amendments to existing laws so that lawmen could be sanctioned if proven remiss in their duties.
He would also push for a a law requiring bigger plate numbers for motorcycles.
He would require the police to regularly submit to both Houses of Congress a list of index crimes across the country, which would serve as a reference for creating proposed legislation.
The hearing on the extrajudicial killings was initiated by De Lima who was ousted justice committee chairperson after presented Edgar Matobato, who claimed to be a former hitman of the Davao Death Squad which killings were allefedly sanctioned by President Rodrigo Duterte.
De Lima said the International Criminal Court could soon intervene in the country as a result of the alleged summary killings.
“The Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, who happens to be a woman, has already expressed deep concern, and that they are monitoring the developments in the country. That could be a prelude to possible intervention,” De Lima said.
“We are actually looking at acts against humanity or crimes against humanity.”