Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the Spate of Extrajudicial Killings
I join the government in its desire to rid the country of crime and illegal drug trafficking. The people deserve a peaceful environment, free of crime. We must respect everyone's right to pursue his or her aspirations without fear.
I am extremely concerned over the spate of extrajudicial killings happening all over the country. I am worried that lawless elements and public officials with less commitment to the rule of law are taking advantage of the government's anti-crime campaign to cover up higher crimes. President Rodrigo Duterte's camp had even said that this might be part of a design to protect big-time criminals.
I therefore support any legislative inquiry that will seriously look into the cases of extrajudicial killings and summary executions allegedly done in the name of fighting crime. Contrary to the claim that this will undermine the government's anti-crime initiative, an impartial inquiry will actually contribute in preventing it from being hijacked by vested interests while safeguarding the rights of all citizens. The government's effort to protect the public from crime and illegal drug trafficking must not sow fear among the public and encourage vigilantism. It must not be tainted by abuse and other excesses.
Fighting crime and safeguarding the rights of all citizens are not mutually exclusive of one another. They co-exist. President Duterte himself said during his inauguration that his adherence to due process and rule of law is uncompromising. I trust that the administration will prosecute its anti-crime campaign based on the said standards