DAVAO CITY – Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang on Tuesday said that the request of the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) to investigate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s possible role in summary executions here is a “political ploy”.
“My reaction there, that is another political ploy. Because this was discussed a long time ago,” Dayanghirang said.
He also said that “all of these will crop out because of politics. The mayor knows what is best for the people of Davao.”
In their website, HRW said that the Philippine government should investigate Duterte for his possible role in summary executions in the city over the past decade.
“The Philippine government should take a zero-tolerance approach to any public official who publicly endorses extrajudicial killings as an acceptable means of crime control. Duterte’s public support for the extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals should prompt a long overdue investigation into Duterte’s possible role in those deaths,” said Phelim Kine, HRW deputy Asia director.
HRW cited that during Duterte’s term, over 1,000 suspected law offenders have been killed and the mayor “continued to espouse the killing of criminal suspects to combat crime.”
HRW has documented the existence of “Davao Death Squad (DDS)” and Duterte’s role in it.
The Commission on Human Rights also conducted the same investigation which resulted to the implication of 21 police officers, not Duterte himself. The police officers were found guilty by the Ombudsman of simple neglect of duty and fined them the equivalent of a month’s salary.
“Duterte has a long history of inflammatory public statements that would seem to encourage the extrajudicial killing of suspected criminals,” HRW said.
“The long official tolerance of Duterte’s advocacy of summary killings as effective crime-fighting strategy needs to stop,” Kine said. “The government should send an unambiguous message to Duterte and other officials that support for extrajudicial killings results in an investigation – not in speaking tours.” (davaotoday.com)