Legal Audit of Cases of Extra-Judicial Killing in the Philippines

Abstract / Excerpt:

The first and foremost of human rights is the right to life. It has long been accorded universal status, for the existence of all other rights is premised on the preservation of life. The extra-judicial taking of life is the ultimate violation of human rights. It cannot be allowed anywhere, and it has to be resisted everywhere. Extra-judicial killings also constitute brazen assaults on the rule of law. (Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, "A View from the Mountaintop", delivered on the occasion of the National Consultative Summit on Extra-Judicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances - Searching for Solutions, 16-17 July 2007, Manila Hotel)

Full Text

The first and foremost of human rights is the right to life. It has long been accorded universal status, for the existence of all other rights is premised on the preservation of life. The extra-judicial taking of life is the ultimate violation of human rights. It cannot be allowed anywhere, and it has to be resisted everywhere. Extra-judicial killings also constitute brazen assaults on the rule of law. (Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, "A View from the Mountaintop", delivered on the occasion of the National Consultative Summit on Extra-Judicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances - Searching for Solutions, 16-17 July 2007, Manila Hotel)

Political killings and other forms of human rights violations have once again beleaguered our country, reminiscent of the martial law years during the Marcos regime. The number of people killed, or tortured, or have disappeared has risen to unprecedented height since 2001 up to the present; and although the incidents increase by the day, the conviction of perpetrators remains elusive.

A number of victims' families and human rights organizations have mustered the courage to file criminal complaints to seek justice. However, the pace at which the resolution of these cases has moved is in itself a cause for serious and grave concern. But, even more alarming is the fact that a number of these cases have reached a dead end without being resolved and some have been archived or considered closed or resolved and dome have been archived or considered closed or labeled "cold cases" because the perpetrators have not been identified or the accused is/are at large or witnesses have refused to testify out of fear.

Info
Source JournalMindanao Law Journal
Journal VolumeMindanao Law Journal Vol. 2 No. 2
AuthorsIntegrated Bar of the Philippines, National Committee on Legal Aid
Page Count21
Place of PublicationDavao City
Original Publication DateAugust 1, 2010
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