De Lima files anti-extrajudicial killing bill

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima filed a bill Tuesday which defines extrajudicial killing (EJK) and provides for its penalty amid the spate of killings of drug suspects.

Senate Bill 1197 or the "Anti-Extrajudicial Killing Act of 2016" seeks to strengthen the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in investigating extrajudicial killings.

The bill defines extrajudicial killing as the "unlawful, and deliberate killing of targeted individuals or groups thereof, carried out by agents of the State and under its order or acquiescence in lieu of arrest, investigation and prosecution."

"Extrajudicial killing includes summary killing perpetrated by private individuals for purposes of carrying out on their own or in the context of vigilantism, a campaign or policy of the State," the Senate bill read.

The measure also seeks to promote human rights, ensure public awareness on the sanctity of life and respect for rule of law.

"In the light of the thousand deaths, the Filipino as a nation cannot negate that EJK is a clear and present phenomenon of the times boldly challenging our constitutionally protected human right against taking of life, transgression of due process, and presumption of innocence of criminal suspects," De Lima said.

Under the proposed measure, the CHR will have the authority to investigate cases of extrajudicial killings. The agency will also have the power to conduct inquiries on such matters.

Meanwhile, the NBI will be mandated to make its relevant services available to the CHR and the PNP in their inquiries or investigation of EJK cases.

The bill orders the PNP to issue a warning announced through a megaphone before conducting arrest, raid, search and seizure in all police intervention operations. The police are absolutely prohibited from firing warning shots.

The use of force in police operations shall be proportionate and will only be allowed when there is clear and convincing attempt to evade arrest.

"Alternative non-lethal incapacitating weapons shall be the primary tool to affect arrest when there is resistance," the bill read.

The proposed measure also provides for a composition of an inter-agency council against extrajudicial killings or "Anti-EJK Council."

The proposed "Anti-EJK Council" will be headed by the Secretary of Justice and will have the function to develop plans to achieve the objectives of the "Anti-EJK Act" with member-agencies including the CHR.

De Lima also filed the resolution which started a Senate inquiry on the rising number of extrajudicial killings and summary executions of suspected criminals.

The neophyte senator, however, has been ousted from her post as the chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights. She has been replaced by Sen. Richard "Dick" Gordon.

The Senate panel is set to end its inquiry into drug-related extrajudicial killings, which was branded by some senators as "a travesty of truth."

RELATED: Senate to end probe on extralegal killings

vuukle comment
  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with