Statement of the Commission on Human Rights welcoming the Caloocan court’s ruling against the four cops for the extrajudicial killing of father and son in Manila

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights welcoming the Caloocan court’s ruling against the four cops for the extrajudicial killing of father and son in Manila

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes the recent verdict by the Caloocan Court, which found four police officers guilty of homicide in connection with the 2016 killing of a father and his son during an anti-drug operation in Manila. The victims, Luis Bonifacio, aged 45, and his son Gabriel Bonifacio, aged 19, were shot dead during the operation. The court sentenced the police officers to prison terms of up to ten years.

The Commission strongly denounces any form of violence, particularly when perpetrated by those entrusted with the duty to protect all citizens, especially the vulnerable individuals from the poor sector. Unjustified killings committed by law enforcers are not only blatant violations of the law but also manifest grave abuse of authority and transgresses against the principles of humanity and the right to life.

We acknowledge the court’s decision as a significant step towards achieving justice and accountability for the victims of human rights violations in relation to the anti-drug campaign of the previous administration. We hope that this ruling will signal the start of sustained and consistent progress in addressing the serious human rights violations associated with these operations.

Furthermore, we are encouraged by the ongoing committee hearings at the House of Representatives, which are thoroughly examining other alleged cases of EJKs that occurred during the height of the anti-drug campaign. We remain hopeful that these comprehensive deliberations will lead to more prosecutions and deliver justice to the many families devastated by these unlawful acts.

These deaths represent far more than mere statistics; they represent the loss of individual lives and the impact of violence on families and communities. It is imperative that we continue to sound the alarm; ensure that their stories are heard and acted upon; and that such injustice will not be repeated.

This ruling highlights the importance of respect for human rights, due process, and the rule of law, in any campaign, including in the pursuit of crime prevention and drug control. Only by respecting fundamental human rights can we achieve genuine peace and order and true justice in our society. ###