Statement of the Commission on Human Rights reiterating the call to investigate all “nanlaban” cases

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights reiterating the call to investigate all “nanlaban” cases

All cases invoking self-defense (“nanlaban”) should be proven in court, especially those involving state-agents or police officers.
Where police officers kill alleged criminals on the ground of self-defense, the validity of such must be established in proper court proceedings.

In the case of lawyer Argel Cabatbat who was ambushed on 13 February 2018, John Ramos, Attorney Cabatbat’s companion, fired back killing one of the assailants, who was later identified as Mark Boquera Ayera, a police officer who was absent from duty without official leave.
Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, days after, said: “It is true that Cabatbat is the victim, but it is procedural to file the case because someone died” (Inquirer.net: ‘QCPD still charging ambushed lawyer who killed gunman’, 23 February 2018). QCPD has charged Cabatbat and his companions with Homicide.
The same procedure should be applied not only against civilians claiming self-defense, but also against police officers in so-called “nanlaban” cases. They must also prove in court that their killings of suspects are in self-defense.
The right to life deserves our highest respect. We call on the government to uphold human rights and the rule of law at all times. Law enforcers are not above the law and should be equally accountable for human rights violations. ■