LEGAZPI CITY, 7Aug2013 (PNA) – Rep. Edcel Lagman, Jr. (LP, Albay, 1st Dist.) said Tuesday he will call for a legislative inquiry into the shootout between members of the Davao City police and a group of alleged kidnappers last month.
The neophyte Bicolano lawmaker said he will ensure that what happened last July 6 in Davao City, the shooting of an alleged group of kidnappers by the Davao city police, will not happen again.
“This is a clear violation of every Filipinos’ right to due process — which is a mode of procedure that all government agencies should follow. No one is exempt,” Lagman said in an emailed statement to the PNA.
“Mayor Rodrigo Duterte violated the most fundamental law of the country when he made it possible to summarily execute the three suspects by way of issuing a shoot-to-kill order. He deprived the three victims of their lives without due process of law,” he said.
Lagman said the Constitution explicitly states that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”
“Moreover, even if they are considered as hardened criminals, they should have been afforded equal protection of the laws as with ordinary, law abiding citizens,” the Albay lawmaker said.
He noted that the alleged kidnappers were killed before they could even be hauled off to court to defend themselves and be tried properly.
“This was an outright execution because the police authorities acted as the arresting officer, trial judge and executioner. What makes it worse is that the death penalty has already been abolished,” Lagman pointed out.
“To order the killing of any person under our laws is murder. Criminality is not solved by promoting lawlessness. We should put an end to this culture of impunity,” he explained.
The perceived efficacy of Duterte’s style in battling crime, he said, is bogus.
There wasno immediately aavailable comment from Duterte.
Davao City has seen many lives sacrificed yet crime persists, Lagman said.
“I am sure that many local executives have imitated Duterte’s crime-fighting style, resulting in the violation of human rights. It is high time that Congress look into this matter and, perhaps, clip the powers of local executives,” he claimed.
Lagman is the son of veteran lawmaker Edcel C. Lagman who authored three human rights measures passed into law during the 15th Congress, the Anti-enforced Disappearance Law, the Martial Law Victims Reparation Act and the Anti-torture Act.
“Like my father, I am all out for the protection and respect for the sanctity of human rights. We should never take for granted the abuses happening right under our very noses, in the guise of operating procedures. I am a martial law baby and growing up during those times instilled in me that there are some things that we should never compromise, and one of them is the right to due process,” he added. (PNA)