Malacanang: Gov't has taken major steps to deter extra judicial killings

May 3, 2013 11:46 pm 

MANILA, May 3 — The Aquino government assured the public it has taken significant steps to deter extrajudicial killings, a Palace official said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday that the Chief Executive had already created an inter-agency committee in order to deter extra-judicial killings and other human rights abuses.

"We will continue our efforts to stop the impunity against journalists, the extralegal killings," Lacierda said.

The government vowed to effectively enforce its policy to go after the perpetrators of extra judicial killings and other human rights abuses, Lacierda said.

Lacierda said President Aquino created an inter-agency committee (IAC), through Administrative Order No. 35 last November, to investigate human rights abuses by state and non-state forces and ensure a focused probe and speedy resolution of all unsolved and new cases.

"May task force tayo tungkol diyan na tinayo si Pangulong Aquino, at si Secretary Leila de Lima po ang tumitingin dito sa mga extralegal killings. So we are looking into all these extralegal killings," Lacierda said.

Under AO 35, the secretary of the Department of Justice serves as chairperson of the IAC, which members include the head of the Presidential Human Rights Committee, the secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Local Government and National Defense, the presidential advisers of the Peace Process and Political Affairs, chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National police chief and the National Bureau of Investigation director.

The chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and the Ombudsman sit as observers and resource persons in the IAC.

"But, again, let me also explain that when we look into each particular incident, we also look into the motives, and there we’re able to segregate kung ano talaga ‘yung politically motivated or may mga ibang reasons for the extralegal killings of journalists," Lacierda said. (PNA)

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