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16 senators call on gov’t to stop killings, especially of children

Sixteen senators file a resolution urging the government to "take the necessary steps to stop the spate of killings, especially of our children." AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines (Updated Sept. 28, 2017, 6:29 p.m.) — Sixteen out of the 23 senators urged the government to stop the “senseless” killings, especially of children.

They filed Resolution 516 on Monday urging the government of President Rodrigo Duterte to “undertake the necessary steps to stop the spate of killings, especially of our children.” 

The measure also directs the Senate to determine and address the institutional reasons, if any, that give rise to these killings.

“Due to the alarming spike in the number of children recently killed in blatant violation of their rights guaranteed by the Constitution, Philippine laws and international treaties, there is an urgent need to conduct an investigation of these senseless killings to identify the concrete efforts the government has undertaken and is undertaking to stop the killings,” the resolution read.

READ: Child killings spark calls for UN probe — Human Rights Watch

Figures from the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center showed that there are at least 54 people aged 18 years old and below killed in either police operations or vigilante-style killings since Duterte assumed power.

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The cases of minors killed in Duterte’s drug war include 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman and 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz. Their deaths have sparked public outcry.

Article 15, Section 3 of the Constitution mandates the state to guarantee children “special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development.”

The resolution was signed by opposition Sens. Francis Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Franklin Drilon, Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima.

The 10 majority legislators who signed it were Joel Villanueva, Ralph Recto, JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Panfilo Lacson, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Francis Escudero, Juan Edgardo Angara and Loren Legarda.

The seven who failed to sign the resolution include Senate President Aquilino Pimentel and Sens. Manny Pacquiao, Richard Gordon, Tito Sotto, Cynthia Villar, Miguel Zubiri and Gregorio Honasan.

UPDATE: After drawing flak, 7 senators also file resolution on EJKs

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