De Lima to Duterte: Not all killings are drug-related

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima on Monday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to follow the developments of the Senate inquiry into the rising number of killings of alleged drug dealers.

The Senate committee on justice is scheduled to conduct a hearing on the spate of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug pushers on August 22 and 23.

READ: De Lima files Senate resolution to probe extrajudicial killings

De Lima, who heads the Senate panel, told the president that theories suggest that not all killings are related to the administration's war on the illegal drug trade.

"May mga indikasyon o teorya po na nagsasabing hindi lahat ng nangyayaring pagpatay ay talagang kaugnay, kundi kasabay lamang, ng kampanya laban sa droga," De Lima said in an open letter addressed to Duterte.

The neophyte senator, who is former Justice secretary, noted that there are killings that might have been orchestrated by corrupt government officials and their accomplices to cover up their participation in the narcotics trade.

"Hindi nila isinusulong, kundi inililihis pa nga ang direksyon ng paglaban sa droga at sinasabotahe ang magagandang layunin ng kampanya," De Lima said.

READ: Muntinlupa mayor worries over PNP handling of drug suspects

De Lima stressed that the Senate inquiry seeks to introduce appropriate laws and regulations to assist the nation's law enforcement in its war against drugs.

The Senate inquiry on the spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions of drug suspects is in line with the president's program of identifying individuals and groups involved in the illegal drug trade.

"Higit sa lahat, hangad po natin gaya rin ng hangad ninyo, Pangulong Duterte, na palakasin pa ang sistema ng ating mga batas para matiyak ang pag-iral ng batas at paggalang sa karapatang pantao sa lahat ng pagkakataon," the senator said.

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