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House to probe drug lords’ link to teens’ deaths

By BEN ROSARIO

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday vowed to initiate a congressional probe into the possible link of drug lords to the killings of three youths that have been blamed to the police.

Alvarez’s plan for a congressional probe won instant support from a leader of the Makabayan legislative bloc, but for another reason.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said a probe has become imperative to confirm claims that the alleged summary execution of the minors was the “result of government’s tacit approval of these killings.”

In a television interview yesterday, Alvarez stressed the need to look deep into the motive behind the deaths of Kian de los Santos, 17, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, and Reynaldo de Guzman, 14.

The House official aired the strong possibility that the separate killings were staged to incite public condemnation against the Duterte administration and force it into abandoning the drug war.

Earlier, Duterte raised similar suspicions, blaming the youth murders to drug syndicates or his political critics.

“Maaaring gawain ito ng mga drug lord para mahinto ang kampanya against illegal drugs, o maaaring gawain ito ng pulitika. Dalawang possibilities dito. Pero para sabihin mong gawa ito ng administrasyon, kalokohan ito,” said Alvarez.

Zarate welcomed Alvarez’s bid to have the killings investigated, saying that this should be placed in the Lower House’s priority list.

“We (Makabayan) filed a resolution to investigate these killings more than a year ago, and everyday since then, extra judicial killings have excalated particularly targeting the poor, the youth, lumads, farmers and even activists,” the senior administration congressman stated.

However, Zarate rejected insinuations that the Duterte anti-drug war is being sabotaged.

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