Statement of the Commission on Human Rights welcoming the development on the case of Spanish businessman in Siargao

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights welcoming the development on the case of Spanish businessman in Siargao

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes the revival of the case of Spanish businessman Diego Bello Lafuente with the surrender of the three (3) policemen allegedly involved in his death to Department of Justice (DOJ). Lafuente was killed on 08 January 2020 in an alleged drug operation in the Island of Siargao by members of the Philippine National Police.

CHR is assured by the commitment of DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla to ensure a fair trial based on evidence. We are equally hopeful that the court will ensure expeditious and just legal proceedings for the swift resolution of this case especially that it had been in a limbo for three years because the accused could not be found.

This development is important in demonstrating that similar “nanlaban” or alleged self-defense cases in the so-called drug war of the previous administration are brought to the court, especially those involving state agents or police. The government has the duty to uphold human rights and the rule of law at all times. Bringing cases like this to the court will help show that no one is above the law, including law enforcers who may have committed human rights violations.

The Commission continues to hope that more cases of alleged extrajudicial killings will progress in courts. It is crucial for the government to consistently and proactively resolve grave cases of human rights breach to demonstrate utmost commitment in protecting the right to life and in combatting impunity.