Gov’t asked to fast-track probe of killings


Human rights activists on Friday asked the Justice department and Supreme Court to hasten the probe of activist killings.

“Two months is too long. This is discouraging for relatives,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said at an online news briefing on Friday. “Lives and security are at stake here,” she added.

Two months have passed since almost a dozen activists were killed in a police raid in Southern Luzon.

Ms. Palabay asked Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra to fulfill his promise before the United Nations Human Rights Council in February to look into the killings.

She added that Mr. Guevarra had offered to protect the relatives of slain activists, but they were not comfortable and “would rather seek protection elsewhere.”

Defend-Southern Tagalog Spokesperson Charm Maranan also called on Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo to look into the “factory of warrants” to stop the unjustified killings and arrests of activists.

The activists said four more activists had been arrested in the provinces of Rizal and Quezon, and three others in the Bicol region. Families were allegedly “held at gunpoint” while law enforcers planted evidence of illegal gun possession.

In March, the high court said it would issue a rule that would require the police to use body cameras when serving warrants.

Meanwhile, government agents arrested five people in Cebu City for operating an abortion clinic.
In a report, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said the suspects were offering abortion services online for P9,500 to P30,000.

They were arrested in different locations through an entrapment operation, where an NBI agent posed as an abortion customer.

The suspects are facing charges of violating the law against “ntentional abortion and conspiracy” and the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. — Bianca Angelica D. Anago

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