Senate President Koko Pimentel III led the members of the majority bloc in filing Senate Resolution No. 518, condemning extrajudicial killings “in the strongest sense” and calling on government to “exert and exhaust all efforts” to stop further killings.
Sixteen members of the Senate majority joined the resolution. Senator Joel Villanueva, who was on sick leave, was unable to sign but communicated his concurrence with the measure.
“The Senate condemns these violent deaths. We will seek justice for the victims of these killings and we will do everything within our power as an institution to ensure that no further killings of this sort are committed and that the perpetrators are made fully accountable,” Pimentel stressed.
Figures from the Philippine Information Agency show that as of June 16 of this year, there have been a total of 12,833 homicide cases, 2,098 of which are drug-related, 2,535 of which are non-drug related, and 8,200 of which are still under investigation.
The Senate resolution named Kian Loyd Delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz, Reynaldo De Guzman, Leo Sarmiento, Raymart Siapo, and Roman Manaois as victims of extrajudicial killings. Their highly-publicized deaths have shocked the public and have sparked national outrage.
The majority bloc senators further called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies to conduct their operations in accordance with proper procedures and with utmost respect for Constitutionally-guaranteed human rights.
“We should not allow a culture of impunity to prevail. Filipinos must not be desensitized into thinking that these types of killings are the new norm,” lamented the Senate chief.
“If we need to strengthen our laws further to ensure that basic human rights are protected and those that violate these rights are met with the full force of the law, then we should act immediately on that. Extrajudicial killings are completely abhorrent to our civilized democratic society.”