“Shoot-to-kill” policy defies human rights

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“Shoot-to-kill” policy defies human rights

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Duterte
Duterte

Rep. Rene L. Relampagos declared that  Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to rid the country of illegal drugs in three to six months should he be elected President is not doable and most of all, shows no respect for human rights.

“Mayor Duterte’s vision for a crime-free, drug-free and insurgency-free country is good because it is every Filipino’s dream. Kitang tanan gusto nga mahuman ni nga suliran. But will mandating the police to kill even suspected criminals and those involved in drugs solve the problem? I think not. This is a band-aid solution that will not address the root of the problem which is poverty,” Relampagos stressed.

Duterte said in one of his interviews that he will direct policemen and the military not to be deterred in killing “all” criminals because it is his “personal order”, adding that if the Ombudsman and Human Rights Commission question them, he will tell them to just point their fingers at him.

The lawmaker said he has nothing personal against Mayor Duterte but he thinks his promise may only be good for show.

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“At the end of the day, we should ask ourselves ‘is this the way I want our leaders to solve our problems?’ ‘Is this what I really want?’ ‘Is this the kind of society I want to be a part of?’ Shall we vote for impunity, brutality and the rule of force or shall we vote for respect, dignity and the rule of law?”

Relampagos who is a former Chair of the House Committee on Human Rights during the 15th Congress said suspected criminals should be given due process because that’s how a democratic nation works. He authored several laws that will help accelerate and simplify investigation process and eventually improve the country’s crime-solving capacity such as the NBI Modernization bill which seeks to provide funds for the training of NBI personnel, acquisition of “state-of-the-art” systems, investigative and intelligence equipment, and establishment of forensic and scientific laboratories to make it more responsive to the demands of time. Equally important, the lawmaker is pushing for the charter of the Commission on Human Rights to “give it more teeth.”

It was also during Relampagos’ chairmanship in the 15th Congress that notable human rights laws were passed such as the “Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law” and the “Compensation to Victims of Human Rights Violations” law.

“We have fought a hard battle not so long ago against an administration that abused many of our peoples’ rights. Going back to this darkest era in our history would put to shame all the lives lost and sacrifices made by our fathers in the name of human rights and democracy. We cannot, and should not, let this lawlessness happen again. Not in our time,” Relampagos concluded.

It maybe recalled that Bohol was awarded “Best Performing LGU-Province Category (PADAC) Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign” by the Department of Interior and Local Government, under the leadership of then-governor Relampagos.

 

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