11 March 2017

News Story: ‘Only 3 of 100 EJKs in CL were legitimate’

By Ding Cervantes

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Central Luzon has docketed 100 cases of alleged extrajudicial killings related to Oplan Tokhang. Of these cases, only three were established as legitimate cases of fighting back or nanlaban.

Jasmin Regino, CHR director for Central Luzon, said yesterday that the cases were docketed on the basis of evidence that the victims did not actually resisted arrest – contrary to incidence reports – but were killed in a rubout.

The three legitimate nanlaban cases were all from Bulacan and were confirmed by relatives, who admitted to seeing the actual fight, she added.

“We rarely have relatives as complainant in these cases. We just pick up cases of EJKs from what comes out in the media. Then we ask the police for their reports and dig deeper to find out the truth,” Regino pointed out.

She noted that while the police have claimed over 500 nanlaban cases in Central Luzon, the commission docketed only 100 because of limited personnel and other resources. The office only has eight investigators.

“What we are doing is to make sure that we have gathered enough evidence on cases so that when we forward these to the Department of Justice or whichever appropriate agency, it would already be air-tight,” Regino said. 

She said CHR investigators are gathering more evidence as many relatives of victims insisted on a rubout rather than a legitimate Philippine National Police (PNP) operation against those suspected to be dealing illegal drugs.

However, none of them dared file formal complaints against policemen for fear of reprisal, she lamented.

Read the full story at PhilStar