De Lima calls for a swift and serious investigation into killing of 18-year-old with special needs


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has called for a swift and thorough investigation into the alleged killing of an 18-year-old man with autism by the police officer in Valenzuela City last May 23.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, said that serious investigation about the incident is necessary to shed light on the issue and ensure that justice be served if there was indeed any violation of police protocol.

“The contradicting claims of the police and the victim’s family about the death of the 18-year-old make it much more necessary to swiftly and thoroughly investigate this recent incident to shed light on the issue and ensure that justice will be served,” De Lima said.

Based on reports, initial police records showed that Arnigo grabbed the service firearm of one of the policemen which resulted in a scuffle during a raid in a cockfight on Sunday. The scuffle supposedly led to the firing of the gun that killed him.

Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, however, said Arnigo’s family disputed the police statements, saying it is impossible for the teenager to take the gun because he has autism and was afraid of cops.

The family added that they have eye witnesses, which said that Arnigo was shot in a different location and was just dragged to the location of cock fighting area.

De Lima stressed it is important to shed light on the recent incident because the recurring narrative of “nanlaban” or suspects having resisted arrest has been repeatedly used as a wrongful justification for deaths during the conduct of police operations.

Huwag nating kalimutan ang binaril na isang retired army veteran na mayroong post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) noong nakaraang taon, pati na ang libo-libong biktima ng ‘nanlaban’ narrative dulot ng madugo at palpak na War on Drugs ni Duterte, na ginawa nang normal ang pagpaslang sa mga walang kalaban-laban” she said.

“The PNP should observe proper operational procedures to ensure that they are the ones protecting, instead of killing the people, and fulfill their obligation with respect to human rights,” she added. (30)

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