CHR may file case vs Duterte

Posted at 01/20/2014 12:33 PM | Updated as of 01/20/2014 12:33 PM

CHR reminds Duterte of the ‘Davao Death Squad killings’

MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) may file a case before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the President against Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in connection with his statement that he will “kill” rice smugglers in his city.

In a formal letter, CHR chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales said: “The Legal and Investigation Office (LIO) of the office has been directed to conduct a fact-finding investigation and legal review of this matter, with a view to the filing of charges, if warranted by the facts and law…”

The CHR earlier lambasted Duterte for his statements, saying his reaction is “unbecoming of a public official.”

“I want smuggling of rice in my city stopped. But if you still do not stop your smuggling activities, I will kill you,” Duterte was quoted as saying.

In the letter, the CHR also reminded the mayor that it is “actively” monitoring the so-called Davao Death Squad case.

The spate of killings, vigilante-style, claimed over 800 victims since 1998. Duterte was then Davao City representative. He was accused to be behind the vigilante group. The case is still with the Ombudsman.

Rosales also took note of the “shoot-to-kill” order Duterte himself admitted to issuing in 2013. The PNP in Davao had figured in an alleged shootout with supposed kidnappers.

“The use of lethal force by the police in that incident is the subject of a separate investigation, but with regard to your possible legal liability arising from the issuance of ‘shoot-to-kill’ orders on at least two occasions…the LIO has been directed in the present case to determine whether such statements have influenced or affected the professional behavior of the local police…,” Rosales told Duterte.