21 February 2017
The CHR issues this statement in response to Presidential Communications’ Secretary Martin Andanar’s statement stating that the CHR had cleared the President from the extrajudicial killings including his involvement in the Davao Death Squad. The CHR wishes to stress that in its Resolution, entitled “In re: Extra-Judicial Killings Attributed or Attributable to the so-called Davao Death Squad,” issued last 28 June 2012, the Commission did NOT clear the former mayor of Davao City of extra-judicial killings and his alleged involvement in the Davao Death Squad.
In the subject Resolution, the Commission stated that, “The continuing pattern of killings and the failure to conduct a meaningful investigation of such incidents can be construed as tolerance on the part of the authorities of the crimes hereto described, thereby contributing to the climate of impunity.” Hence, it recommended “that the Office of the Ombudsman investigate the possible administrative and criminal liability of Mayor Duterte for his inaction in the face of evidence of numerous killings committed in Davao City and his toleration of the commission of these offenses.”
It is clear from the quoted portions of the Resolution that deaths have occurred in significant numbers and no investigations were conducted by the local government. Deaths continued to occur with impunity during the term of the former mayor. Hence, the Commission, forwarded its Resolution to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman, based on its recent pronouncements, has resumed its investigation according to news articles.
Extra- judicial killings may be committed not only by direct participation but also as a result of the failure of government to investigate and hold people to account. Tolerance or acquiescence to the killings is demonstrated by the inaction of state agents. Our previous investigation showed no serious efforts were undertaken to address the killings at the time. On the part of the Commission, it is pursuing cases as leads arise, including the revelation of SPO3 Arthur Lascañas yesterday.
Atty. Jacqueline Ann C. de Guia
OIC, Public Affairs and Strategic Communication Office
Telephone No: (02) 928-5792 / 09175919833
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org