Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has called for a swift and serious investigation into the alleged gun-planting incident involving a now-dead policeman and a slain drug suspect.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of the administration’s murderous war on drugs, stressed that an investigation is necessary to prove the authenticity of the video that caught the said incident and find out if the crime scene has been indeed staged.
“It is a grave injustice to accuse anyone of a crime – worse, kill him – without giving him the chance to defend himself before the court. Since the policeman who killed the drug suspect cannot anymore explain his side, a thorough and serious investigation about this incident is much more necessary,” she said.
“We need to find out how PNP really operates, especially in buy-bust operations, to find out the truth and give justice to the people involved. It is likewise important to find out if planting evidence continue to be a common practice among cops to put a stop on this deplorable act,” she added.
In an amateur video recently published by the media, a policeman was seen firing a gun three times before putting it beside the body of a slain drug suspect.
Based on media reports, the suspect on the video was killed after he allegedly fought it out with arresting policemen during a buy-bust operation in Valencia City on February 20.
The policeman on the video, for his part, died after purportedly figuring in an accident five days after the said operation.
Despite the incident shown in the video, Police Regional Office 10 reportedly insisted that the suspect had resisted arrest and fired at the policemen, adding that the policeman on the video fired the weapon out of frustration.
De Lima, a former justice secretary, maintained that an investigation is necessary “to shed light on these disturbing trends because this is not the first time that a policeman was reported to have staged a crime scene.”
“Huwag nating kalimutan ang mga naiulat nang nabiktima ng ganitong karumal-dumal na gawain—ang libo-libong mga pinatay ng War on Drugs, kabilang na ang mga inosenteng bata—na pinaniniwalaan ding tinamnan ng ebidensya,” said De Lima.
“Tigilan na ang nanlaban narrative para depensahan lang ang pagpatay sa mga walang kalaban-laban. Higit sa lahat, tigilan na ni Duterte ang pag-udyok ng karahasan sa bansa na nagpapalakas ng loob sa mga mamamatay-tao, kriminal at nasa kapangyarihan para umabuso at gawin ang anumang naisin nila, kahit ito ay labas sa batas, at makatakas sa pananagutan,” she added.
In 2016, it may be recalled that Duterte admitted that he learned to bend the law to get the desired outcome during his 10 years as a city prosecutor, saying, “We planted evidence. We arrested persons but we released them… But we know at the start that we planted the intrigues.”
During the 17th Congress, De Lima filed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 600 urging the appropriate Senate committee to look into several reports alleging that some members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been staging the crime scenes.
In the said resolution, De Lima cited the case of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz who went missing in August 2017– until his body was found in a morgue in Caloocan City ten days after. The two cops responsible for his death was later charged with murder, torture, planting of drug evidence and planting of firearms evidence. De Lima also cited the Reuters’ report revealing how two undisclosed senior PNP officials admitted that the PNP has received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planting evidence at crime scenes and carrying out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes. (30)