THE Senate will investigate this week allegations by the international watchdog Amnesty International (AI) that police paid killers to liquidate drug users and pushers, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Sunday.
“I have asked them to look for a committee room for Thursday. If there’s an available [room], we will [notify] those concerned,” said Lacson.
Lacson , who heads the committee on public order, said he had already instructed his staff to write a letter to AI and ask them their basis for the allegations.
Lacson said he wanted to know the source of AI’s information.
“Was there an affidavit? Was there really a statement? Those are the things we wanted to know before we investigate,” he said.
Senator Risa Hontiveros scored the Duterte administration for dismissing the Amnesty International report on extrajudicial killings.
“From the House Speaker’s ‘it’s none of their business” remark to the Justice Secretary’s “criminals are not humans’ statement, to the President’s usual profanity-laced attacks, the government’s lack of commitment to address the country’s human rights issues is appalling and unconscionable,” Hontiveros said.
“After all, what should a government be for, if not to protect the basic rights and liberties of its citizens? It is important to remember that peace and order is worth nothing and will eventually itself be destroyed without human rights, that an improvement in people’s lives will only have lasting positive effects if it were founded on human rights for all.”
In Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte denied that drug suspects in the country were being treated and killed “like dogs.”
“This Amnesty [International], they’re so naive and so stupid, why would we kill people? What do you think of this government? Do they think we’re killing just anyone who walks? Like dogs?” Duterte said in a late Saturday night press conference in Davao City.
“There has to be a reason. Find out the reason. Find out the truth,” he added.
Duterte said the international human rights watchdog’s report on the hundreds of deaths linked to his illegal-drug war was “unverified” and made it “easy to condemn” security forces.
The report also pointed to Duterte encouraging the killing of drug addicts. It recalled Duterte’s statement that he would “be happy to slaughter drug addicts.” With John Paolo Bencito
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