Government has no problems with the plans for a protest and several investigations over Kian delos Santos’ death in a anti-narcotics operation in Caloocan City last week.
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said, “lahat naman dito ay kasama na rin sa freedom of expression mga kababayan whether youre pro or anti govt gusto mo magmartsa gusto mo magprotesta pinpayagan naman ni Pang. Duterte kami naman ay nakikinig rin sa mga suhestyon ng mga kritiko.”
Andanar stressed that aside from the plans of the Senate, the PNP and the DOJ are also conducting their own investigations. Andanar has expressed his condolences for the delos Santoses. “we understand the senators the issue of Kian’s death is defeinitely a huge issue we are also sad we also condole with the family of Kian gusto rin natin to tget to the bottom of this problem kung merong police na nagkamali rito ay dapat parusahan but then we should go through a proper invetsigation and definitely the invetsigation Of the senate will help”
Andanar also has no problems with the creation of any independent body which will investigate the incident. “ok naman independent body the police the nbi in fact nagpatawag na rin si sec aguirree ng imbetsigasyon si gen dela rosa nagpatawag na rin we have the senate now the more the better”
Over the weekend, Opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman urged President Rodrigo Duterte to create immediately an independent fact-finding commission to thoroughly and impartially investigate the escalating summary killings related to the administration’s campaign against the drug menace.
“The commission should be composed of retired justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of proven probity. Police authorities cannot be entrusted with the investigation because police officers and personnel are involved, while the leadership of the Department of Justice is a partisan ally of the President. Moreover, the inquiry must not be left to politicians whose motives could be suspect despite their avowal of impartiality.”
For Lagman, The commission must be authorized to perform the following:
1. Conduct an investigation on the causes, motives and rewards for the extrajudicial killings.
2. Find out the total number of victims of summary killings both by the police authorities and vigilante groups since the start of the anti-drug campaign in 2016.
3. Determine the collusion between the police authorities and vigilantes.
4. Inquire on how many of the victims belong to the poor, vulnerable and marginalized sectors.
5. Establish how many of the killings are subject to current investigations by the police authorities and other government agencies.
6. Recommend the prosecution of errant police officers and personnel and private parties.
7. Recommend viable policies and alternatives to solve the drug problem as poverty and health issues other than a mere police matter.
Lagman cites a number of precedents where fact-finding commissions were created to investigate events of transcendental importance like the Agrava Commission, Feliciano Commission and Melo Commission.
The Agrava Commission was created by the late President Marcos to investigate the assassination of Sen. Benigno Aguino on 21 August 1983 despite allegations that Marcos masterminded the assassination.
The Feliciano Commission was created by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to conduct an investigation on the Oakwood mutiny on 21 July 2003 which raised grievances against her administration and the Melo Commission was formed also by President Arroyo on 21 August 2006 to inquire on the human rights violations and extrajudicial killings during her incumbency.