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University of San Carlos

School of Law and Governance


A.Y. 2016-2017

In partial fulfillment of requirements in the subject Philosophy of Law:


Reaction Paper on Extrajudicial Killings

Submitted to:
Atty. Renato Galeon
Submitted by:
Rhea Noemi C. Calooy
JD 1
EH 410
Date submitted:
September 17, 2016

Extra-judicial Killings: A Part of Philippine History in the


Making
By: Rhea Noemi C. Calooy | September 14, 2016 11:41AM

Many have heard from the news today of cases of extrajudicial killings.
What are these? Anne Lanfer defined extrajudicial killings as homicides
that are committed outside the legal system with no prior judgement of a
courti In other words, these are killing of people without observance of due
process. In our local parlance, this is properly known as vigilante killings
and is said to be politically motivated.
This is not the first time Philippines has dealt with this controversial issue
that shook the world. Famous historians and journalists have carefully
studied the history of the Philippines and have found that back in the
1970s when Marcos reigned supreme as dictator of the land, gross human
right violations were rampant during those times. Lives were shattered and
blood were spilled from innocent lives killed by military men. There were an
estimated 3,257ii people killed by the military during 1975 to 1985. Within a
span of 10 years, that number was enough for chills to run down your
spine. That number of deaths may have comprised both innocents and
guilty ones.
And now, history repeated itself. In the recent graph, there are reported 957
deaths in President Dutertes war on drugs campaign since June 30, 2016.
In just a span of days, the killings now are already 29% of the killings
during the Marcos time. If we expand the timeline a bit, in a years time,
probably thered be more deaths than there were in 10 years during the
time of Marcos with an estimate of 4,595 deathsiii.
These days are grim, not just for the Philippines, but for the whole world. In
the eyes of the international community, we have a running track record of
history of extrajudicial killings. Is this good for us?
In the current situation, as observed, Filipinos cheer for these killings and
even say that these are just product of bad karma for having brought
turmoil to our country. They do not care whether these lives taken were
innocent lives or not. All they want to prove is this war on drugs is a
benediction. But to the rest of the world, this is an apocalypse. To the rest
of the world, war on drugs is a war being fought for so many years and has
proven disastrous for global health, security and human rights. iv Recently,
it has promoted vigilante killings as a way to contribute to this campaign.
News I have read in every newspaper about this controversy always had
given an uncertain conclusion of whether or not the killing of a man by
motorcycle riders was indeed a drug dealer; whether or not the surrender of
alleged drug pushers was really what we seem to be; whether or not the

husband and father were syndicates of drug dealings. These uncertainties


have insulted lawyers everywhere in the country because of the absence of
proper investigation and trial on these cases that violate the due process
clause in the 1987 Constitution.
Section 1 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution states that No person shall
be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall
any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. This is commonly
known as the due process clause which is a provision that proceeds
upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial; a law that hears before it
condemns as defined by Daniel Webster in the Darmount College Case
cited.v Obviously, the situation today as seen before our very eyes do not
uphold such provision thereby disrespecting the fundamental law made by
the People for the People.
There have been an upraise of several protests from law students to
senators that invoke the rule of law and condemn extrajudicial killings. They
stress out the outright disregard of the latter for basic human rights and
believes that measures to combat illegal drugs must be carried out under a
framework that respects human rightsone that upholds the right to fair
trial, eliminates impunity, and sees drug abuse as a public health concern
that must be addressed with humanity and not violence. vi That is one thing
that Duterte followers have closed their minds to and are blinded by the
desperation of a peaceful nation disregarding innocent lives shattered.
As for me, I am against extrajudicial killing as I am a Law student and an
advocate to the rule of law. Law is what keeps the peace and maintains the
order among people within the State. It is the most powerful tool that
Congress has and complete absence of law would bring us back to the age
where rules are dictated by one man thus, when war is announced against
a neighboring nation, we must follow without the outset of whatever
consequences the rule will pose. Law to me is a standard that considers
everything within the limits of mans thinking of possible situations. Without
it, thered be chaos which is why I am against the complete disregard of the
due process clause that extrajudicial killings have shown.
It is in due process that we allow judiciary to weigh evidences to determine
the innocence or guilt of an accused. It is when we hear the side of the
accused equally to the allegations we hear of the complainant. It is a
chance we give to the accused to spare his or her life to the possible
consequence of the alleged action.
Even if assuming that the police identified and confirmed the suspect as
one who is really a drug syndicate whether through an official hit list, or
even assuming that all the killings were a result of police operation and not
vigilante killings, Lady Justice is still weeping her eyes behind that blindfold
of hers. Good for her though, she kept the blindfold on so that she wouldnt
see how this country have undermined justice in so many ways. Worst of
all, people consent to such and even more cheer.

I pity the people today. When once they tried to convince President Aquino
to help on the case of Mary Jane Veloso invoking right to due process, they
have now turned a blind eye and twist their decisions to just have her
executed as a respect to the laws of other countries when President
Duterte made a go-signal as to her execution. vii Comments of supporters on
such invoke international comity. This got me confused as to whether or not
these comments are humane that made realize that they do not have
respect for human life as accorded to the purpose of due process.
Relating this to extrajudicial killings, I do not think people are thinking
straight anymore, much more thinking less humane. For now, the
Government has formulated ways to solving such tragedy and they have to
provide an effective solution sooner than later before streets turn to killing
spree. As for me, I challenge those people who support these killings to
look at their loved ones and see that they are possible victims as well.
Killers in this state do not choose. Once they kill, their allegation is drugs
and how does the dead rise up and defend himself and present evidences?
I believe they cannot anymore because by that time, it would probably be
too
late.

iFOOTNOTES Anne Lenfer, Extrajudicial Killings A Human Rights Crisis, OBSERVER: A Journal
on threatened Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines Volume 2, Number 2 (2010) p.1

ii Reyes, Rachel, 3,257:Fact checking the Marcos killings, 1975-1985, The Manila Times,
April 12, 2016
iii Manual Calculation ((957 deaths/76 days)*365 days in a year = 4,595 deaths)
iv Pimentel, Boyeng, The rest of the world knows war on drugs doesnt work, The
Inquirer, July 22, 2016
v Magz, Constitutional Law Chapter II Due Process,
https://lawphilreviewer.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/constitutional-law-chapter-ii-dueprocess/
vi Gonzales, Yuji Vincent, UP Law students condemn extrajudicial killings, urge rule of
law, The Inquirer, August 18, 2016
viiLopez, Virgil, Duterte gave 'go-ahead' for Mary Jane Veloso's execution report, GMA
News Online, September 12, 2016

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