The recent spate of killings of teenagers has prompted Senator Grace Poe to vigorously call for the investigation into the alleged unlawful deaths of minors in several parts of the country which she regarded as “gruesome deaths”.
Senator Poe on Thursday filed a Senate Resolution 498 urging the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson to scrutinize the cases of the discovered corpses of teenagers which “resulted from the government’s war against drugs,” in either police operations or vigilante-style killings, in order to “re-evaluate and enforce” the rules of engagement of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in arresting children in conflict with the law (CICL), and to establish the efficient avenues of giving assistance to families of victims.
The killings of three teenagers resulted to national outrage. They were: 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos who was killed in the “one time, big time” operation in Caloocan City last August 16; 19-year-old Carlo Angelo Arnaiz who was shot five times; and his companion 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman who was found dead on Nueva Ecija last Wednesday.
“The plea for justice of the victims’ relatives should not fall on deaf ears; the senseless killing of innocent Filipinos, especially minors, under the cloak of addressing the country’s drug problem should be addressed by relevant legislation, policy recommendations, and impartial investigation,” Poe said.
The Senator filed the resolution as the killings of three minors remain to be clueless for the citizen and the government.
“Before we plummet into chaos and utter savagery, the recent brutal deaths of Kian, Carl, and Reynaldo, and of the other youth victims who came before them, should serve as a wake-up call and a reminder that we are a country of laws and morals,” she said in the resolution.
Poe added that policemen who would be found guilty should face criminal charges.
“Policymakers should condemn the utter disregard of human life by some police officers, who have sworn to protect and serve the people in carrying out the strong directive of the State to weed out illegal drugs activities,” she said.
She emphasized that enforcement agencies should ensure they strictly adhere to the enshrined rights of laws and international conventions, after stating the increasing gruesome deaths in the country.
She also included in the resolution the killings of Danica May Garcia, 5, of Dagupan City; Francis Manosca, 5, of Pasay City; and Rowena Samson, 22, of Manoag who, according to the Senator, were victims of vigilante-style executions.
“It is imperative to determine whether these killings were arbitrary executions caused by excessive, disproportionate and illegitimate use of force of law by law enforcement officers,” Poe said.