Wednesday Sep, 30 2020 03:35:03 PM

CHR-12 starts probe of Kabacan mass murder, eyes cops, EJK

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 10:00 AM Tue Sep 1, 2020

COTABATO CITY --- The Commission on Human Rights in Region 12 (CHR-12) is considering the killing of nine people in Kabacan, North Cotabato as Extra Judicial Killings (EJK).

Lawyer Erlan Deluvio, CHR-12 regional director, said his office is conducting intereviews on witnesses to support the filing of charges against the perpetrators.

“When we say EJK, usually it involves law enforcement agents but it doesn’t end there, it could be the inaction, if they did nothing to the investigation or it is ineffective,” Deluvio said.

The human rights lawyer said this will happen when reports made during post activity investigation have discrepancies especially during the stage of gathering of affidavits.

But what is disturbing is the dying statement of the 9th victim who later died in the hospital and identified as Tong Guiaman.

“This dying declaration of the victim who managed to spoke to his relatives before he died alleging that policemen were behind the killing will be very important to the case,” Deluvio added.

Reached for comment on the CHR statement, Colonel Henry Villar, North Cotabato police director, said: “It’s up to them.”

Villar said for now they have not established yet the motive of the killing.

“We don’t want to speculate, we are looking on several angles and we are making our best to give accurate results of our investigation,” Villar said in a phone interview.

Police Major Peter Pinalgan Jr, Kabacan town police chief, said the victims were strafed while standing by the roadside along Aringgay Road, near the state-run University of Southern Mindanao campus.

“They were allegedly ordered to stop by unidentified suspects and when they all alighted from their respective motorcycles they were shot several times,” Pinalgan said.

He said the suspects used high powered firearms like M-16 Armalite rifle, Carbine rifle and cal. 45 pistol based on the empty shells found in the crime scene.

“For now we will corroborate the utterances made by several witnesses and formalize their statement”, Deluvio said.

In Philippines context, EJK is the killing of a person by governmental authorities or individuals without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process. It occurs or arise outside of the course of judicial duties. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)

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