The Commission on Human Rights in Negros Oriental yesterday denounced strongly the series of shooting incidents in Dumaguete City and nearby towns, that are believed to be extrajudicial killings.
CHR head Jess Cañete called on the police and local officials to intensify efforts and stop blatant killings, at the worldwide observance of the International Human Rights Day yesterday.
“We must put a stop to this culture of impunity,” Cañete said, and warned that if left unattended, this will have a negative effect on the image of Dumaguete, touted as the “City of Gentle People”.
He said there is a pattern in the attacks perpetrated against people with almost the same background, referring to several suspected drug personalities who were shot dead recently.
He said the crimes recorded in the city, allegedly caused by persons who later ended up as victims themselves, fit the definition of extrajudicial killings.
Police investigation usually point to a possible “turf war”, or a deal gone bad, between and among “drug personalities” that resulted in the liquidation of suspected drug pushers.
Cañete said that, regardless of their backgrounds, the victims are entitled to due process and justice. He said the alleged extrajudicial killings indicate a loss of trust and confidence in the justice system.
Cañete said he is saddened to note that the Philippine National Police, the lead agency in crime fighting, has yet to come up with case solved.
But he also said he is not criticizing the police, but urging them to double their efforts in the prevention and solution of crimes, and for the community to support the police.*JFP
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