Malacañang on Monday clarified that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Office of the Ombudsman want not get prior permission from President Rodrigo Duterte earlier than investigating navy or police officers.
In a Palace briefing, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra stated the CHR and the Office of the Ombudsman have been each constitutional our bodies and deemed impartial.
“They have to do their own mandates. When the President said that he’d be informed if any soldier or law enforcer will be undergoing any investigation, I presume he was speaking as Commander-in-Chief and not as Chief Executive,” the Palace official stated.
In a press convention after his second State of the Nation Address final week, Duterte stated that he would not enable his safety forces to go to the CHR to be investigated for alleged human rights violations.
“Human Rights Commission, you address your request through me because the Armed Forces is under me and the police is under me. Kaya pag kinuwestyon ninyo sila for investigation, dadaan muna sa akin,” the President stated.
Guevarra defined that what the President meant was that as Commander-in-Chief, it will be higher if he was knowledgeable about an investigation of a regulation enforcer or a soldier beforehand.
“That’s how I understand the President’s statement. He is a lawyer. He is a prosecutor. He knows criminal law, criminal procedure very well, and he knows the limits of what he can do and what he can’t,” he stated.
“As I said, he is also a lawyer and he knows that these other agencies have their own mandates, have their own procedures. So they are free to do what they want to do in accordance with their own mandates,” Guevarra stated.
Guevarra made the clarification after the CHR stated it will examine the police’s pre-dawn raid on the home of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parajinog that resulted within the death of the mayor and 14 others.
According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the 15 have been killed in a shootout between the mayor’s safety group and police serving search warrants at a number of of the Parojinog household’s properties in Barangays Baybay San Roque and Baybay Santa Cruz of town at round 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Guevarra dismissed claims that the Ozamis bloodbath was an overkill and tainted with irregularity.
“Well, that is bound to happen in incidents like these, when raids result in deaths. This usually happens,” he stated.
“There is a presumption of regularity. If there is someone that complains that something irregular happened then an investigation will have to be done. For now, we presume regularity,” Guevarra stated. (PNA)