/ 21 June 2021

SENATOR Leila  de Lima joined other lawmakers in denouncing the reported killing of minors during the anti-illegal drugs and insurgency operations of the police and the military in the provinces of Laguna and Surigao del Sur.

The senator said deaths of Jhondy Maglinte Helis,16, and Angel Rivas,12, should be investigated.

“Last month, it was an 18-year old with autism. On Tuesday, a 12-year old Lumad was killed in an alleged indiscriminate firing by the military. On Wednesday, a 16-year-old boy was killed in a police operation. Nanlaban daw,” De Lima said.

“There should be prompt and effective investigations of these EJKs of our children, and perpetrators should be held accountable. Tama na ang kultura ng patayan at impunidad!” she added.

De Lima said that a serious investigation of these incidents is necessary to find the truth behind the victims’ deaths and to ensure accountability.

“These killings of young individuals are another proof of failure of the State to protect children, youth, including indigenous peoples from summary execution and extrajudicial killings,” she said.

“Authorities who made lapses in their operations or participated in varying degrees in the perpetuation of extrajudicial killings should be held accountable. Kapag hinayaan lang ito, parang kinunsinte na rin natin ang mga pang-aabuso at pinalakas pa ang loob ng mga gumagawa ng brutal at ilegal na pagpatay,” she added.

Last May, De Lima also called for a swift and thorough investigation into the killing of an 18-year-old with autism by the police officer in Valenzuela City.