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De Lima asks UN to probe killings

Beleaguered Sen. Leila M. de Lima, stripped by her colleagues of her chairmanship of the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee last Monday, formally sought yesterday the presence of a United Nations rapporteur to visit the Philippines and look into the extra-judicial killings and summary executions as the Duterte administration’s controversial anti-illegal drug campaign enters its 84th day today.

De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 153 which urged the Executive branch, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, to “extend an invitation to the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions to visit the country to look into the extra-judicial killings and summary execution amid the administration’s war on drugs.”

De Lima cited official data from the Philippine National Police as of September 14, 2016 which showed that there are 3,173 persons killed in the Duterte administration’s illegal drugs war since July 1, 2016, the official start of the six-year government.

Of this number, there are 1,138 drug personalities killed in police operations, while there are 2,035 victims of extrajudicial killings or vigilante killings. The average number of person killed daily for the past two-and-one-half months is 42.3, De Lima said.

“By any standard, the statistics are alarming and staggering. And, judging from both official and media sources, there is no showing that we will soon experience a downtrend in the figures,’’ De Lima added.

The filing of the resolution followed the decision of the newly constituted Senate Justice Committee to resume today its public hearing earlier scheduled by De Lima on extrajudicial killings. This will be its fourth hearing.
(Mario B. Casayuran)