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After drawing flak, 7 senators also file resolution on EJKs

The seven senators who were bashed for not signing the resolution condemning the killings of minors filed their own resolution on Monday. They debunked the allegation that they refused to sign it. File

MANILA, Philippines — The seven senators, who received public outrage for not signing the resolution urging the government to stop “senseless” killings, filed their own resolution on Wednesday.

Sens. Koko Pimentel, Manny Pacquiao, Richard Gordon, Tito Sotto, Cynthia Villar, Miguel Zubiri and Gregorio Honasan filed Senate Resolution 518 “condemning in the strongest sense the extrajudicial killings.”

They also called on the government to “exert and exhaust all efforts to stop and resolve these extrajudicial and all other unresolved killings.”

Aside from these lawmakers, majority bloc members Sens. Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe and Ralph Recto also signed the resolution.

Pimentel said the Senate would not surrender its duty to protect and defend the human rights of every Filipino.

“The Senate is against the violent death of every Filipino and will seek justice for its victims,” the Senate president said.

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The resolution cited the deaths of Kian Loyd delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz, Reynaldo de Guzman as the cases of extrajudicial killings which sparked public outrage.

According to the government’s #RealNumbersPH campaign's release as of August 29, there were 3,811 drug personalities who died in anti-drug operations since July 1, 2016.

However, human rights groups estimated a higher death toll with more than 12,000 individuals killed in the course of the administration’s anti-narcotics campaign.

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 President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power.

‘We’re not asked to sign’

On Monday, 16 out of the 23 senators filed Resolution 516 urging the Duterte government to “undertake the necessary steps to stop the spate of killings, especially of our children.” 

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

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

 

The seven senators who were bashed for not signing the resolution clarified they were not asked to sign it.

“We did not refuse to sign the resolution. We were not asked to sign,” Villar also said.                   

Sotto slammed the social media posts that lambasted him and other senators for not signing the resolution urging the government to stop the killing of minors.

“I have never seen the shadow of this resolution. Paano magiging ‘did not sign?’ So obviously mukhang fake news ang dating nito,” Sotto said, referring to the post of Silent No More PH

Pimentel ordered the Senate to probe into social media news against seven senators who did not sign the EJK resolution.

Pangilinan, who led the filing of Resolution 516, said they did not intentionally exclude the senators and apologized for not going the extra mile. 

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