Bill seeks to hold perpetrators of EJKs liable

By: Leila B. Salaverria - Philippine Daily Inquirer | September 27,2020 - 11:07 AM

MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to put a stop to extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the country, Sen. Leila de Lima has filed a bill that seeks to hold those who ordered and cooperated in these acts as liable as the actual killers themselves.

De Lima’s bill provides for the definition of terms to prevent perpetrators of extrajudicial killings from circumventing the law, and seeks to impose punishment on state and non-state actors involved in the acts.

It also states that there should be a prima facie case for arbitrary deprivation of life and disputable presumption of liability on the part of the Chief Executive, chief of police, and other relevant officers involved in an incident of extrajudicial killing.

“This provision would be a powerful deterrent that would make the perpetrators of EJKs think twice before pulling the trigger because they could no longer hide behind the flimsy excuse of impulse,” De Lima said in a statement.

The bill defines extrajudicial killings as unlawful or arbitrary killings committed by state agents or non-state actors who are acting under authority or instruction by policy of the state, or killings carried out without judicial process or without the benefit of full due process guarantees.

Extrajudicial killings also include those committed by non-state actors for carrying out a campaign or policy of the state on their own or in the context of vigilantism.

The bill states that aside from the actual killers, those who ordered, encouraged, or induced others to commit the killing would also be held liable as principals.

“Any superior military, police or law enforcement officer or senior government official, including the Chief Executive, who issued an order to any lower-ranking personnel to commit extrajudicial killings, for whatever purpose, shall be held equally liable as principals,” it stated.

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TAGS: actual killers, bill, De Lima, EJK, seeks to hold perpetrators liable, stop EJK

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