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Particulars on Extrajudicial Killing

The death rate of the Philippines is now increasing. Together with this death rate is the

deterioration of the democratic status of the country. Aside from natural calamities, its reason is

the effect of the new administration with its campaign against drugs. One would think that these

incidents happened in a country ruled by a dictatorship. But they all took place in the Philippines,

a democracy. Moreover, death records will prove how numerous the deaths which are undergone

by Filipinos. Not just those who are drug users are being involved but also those who fight for

what’s right. Last January 6, 31 human right defenders (HRDs) in the Philippines were

murdered. Even a 17-year-old suspected drug pusher was also shot dead in a gunfight with a


Things like this occur as if that it was all a nightmare. You can hear the tumult of the

peoples. Parents, children and other relatives that were left by these alleged drug addicts or

pushers shout for justice. They weren’t given even the chance to explain their side. Of course!

What do you expect? They are just ordinary people: and ordinary people are tied up by this

mentality of living simply and keeping their mouth SHUT!

When Pres. Rodrigo Duterte came to power last year, he launched a brutal war on illegal

drugs: A campaign which has already seen over 6, 200 deaths in the Philippines last 6 months.

But more than 8, 000 deaths later, the stories of the children caught in the web of daily violence

stand out as a sobering reminder that the menace cannot be stopped by bullets alone.

Duterte’s bloody war on drugs underlines the violence already suffered by the people due

to extreme poverty, landlessness, contractual labor, war and displacement, shortage of housing

and livelihood opportunities. What had happen to our country? Who is it to blame? Is it the new
administration who puts force on everything and follows their own desire or is it us who made

the decision to put them in place? Did we just become that stupid because of this bandwagon

mentality when Digong had his campaign? Obviously, we people have the power beforehand but

it’s our intellect which didn’t function well when it’s mostly needed. We are the reason for this.

Death which is feared by many became at hand because of Extra Judicial Killing. It’s a

give and take principle. You gave him the power to rule; now others will take the bullets you just

reloaded in his magazine. The question is, says Archbishop Socrates Villegas “From a generation

of drug addicts, shall we become a generation of street murderers? Will the do-it-yourself justice

system assure us of a safer and better future?

EJK Defined

An extrajudicial killing (also known as extrajudicial execution) is the killing of the

person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding of a person

by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.

Extrajudicial punishments are mostly seen by humanity to be unethical, since they bypass the

due process of the legal jurisdiction in which they occur. According to the United States’ annual

Department report, Extrajudicial Killings, disregard for due process, and a weak criminal justice

system are the most pressing human right problem in the Philippines.

Extrajudicial Killing is a deliberate killing not authorized by a previous judgment

pronounces by a regular constituted court affording all the juridical guarantees which are

recognized as indispensable by civilized people. An international NGO observed that such

‘extrajudicial killing’ in the Philippines show common pattern: (1) surveillance and threats to the

victims presumptively by officers, (2) Finding their names in an “Order of Battle” by military
commanders, (3) Victim has an affiliation with lawful activist or leftist movements and political

parties (including labor, journalism, women, peasant, environmental and other sectors), (4)

assassination by hooded persons often driving motorbikes or unlicensed vehicles, (5) scant

investigation, and (6) witness intimidation and sometimes witness, murder. But, in the

Philippines, President Duterte reminded soldiers that no matter how many criminals they kill in

the line of duty, he will pardon them and even give them promotion.

These extrajudicial killings and death squads are common in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Central

America, India, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan,

Bangladesh, several regions in Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Jamaica,

Kosovo, Uzbekistan, parts of Thailand, Turkey. . . and of course . . . in the Philippines. For this

reason, the human rights defenders ranked the Philippines as the most dangerous country in Asia.

EJK: Crime against Life and Human Rights

In the account of Abel’s murder by his brother Cain, Scripture reveals the presence of

anger and envy in man. Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the 5th Commandment:

“Do not slay the innocent and the righteous”. Thus, there is a need to educate and orient the

police and military thru seminars about the laws on human rights reminding them that the

country is a civilian society and that the rights of the people to association, to privacy, to liberty,

and to life must be protected at all times.

Fr. Atillano Fajardo, director of the Manila Archdiocese’s Public Affairs Ministry, said

over to Radio Veritas that killing were equivalent to robbing the suspects of their right to due

process and a chance to change their lives. Also, there have been incidents that appear to be drug

related where individuals like a 5-year-old girl and college students, with no criminal record die.
The international group, which is based in New York City gives details of extrajudicial killings

allegedly committed by the police. It alleges that police fakes evidences, planting guns and

drugs, to implicate their victims in drug activities. This simply shows how human rights are

being violated and how the government or those who were given authority doesn’t give prior

importance to the human’s right to life.

The new technological possibilities require the intervention of political authorities and of

legislators in which they should ensure the common good of the people through respect for their

fundamental rights: right to life and physical integrity, and the right of the family and of the

child. However, the President seems to neglect these.

The peace and security purportedly being felt in our communities are nothing more than

the silent terror of a bullet through our doors and bullets delivered by those “riding in tandem”.

Our society now seems to be deprived of this respect particularly to man. Catechism of the

Catholic Church would say that in living in the society, what is at stake is the dignity of the

human person whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to

whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.

Responsible indeed! Our government gives action in order to preserve life and yet they

don’t realize that their move is actually opposing their own idea. Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches,

Teodoro Bacani Jr. said to the media, “the end does not justify the means” urging that human

right and proper juridical procedures be respected. iDefend supports the implementation of an

economic agenda based on social justice. They propose that the right to life requires the absence

of fear for our lives and our loved ones. These right must be given attention for as humans, these

constitute to the part of us in which we are given this dignity. As Archbishop Socrates Villegas
would say, “Both the guilty and the innocent are humans.” May all responsible public authorities

generously revive their efforts. Pope Paul VI addressed that rulers must not allow the morality of

the peoples to be degraded.

President Duterte’s Response

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte believes that addicts are better off dead because they would

eventually commit crimes to sustain their addiction. This is in line with numerous criticisms with

his way of administration. He insists that most of the other killings were the result of preemptive

strikes by narcotic gangs. With regards to this, Duterte admitted that he might be subjected to

scrutiny by the Supreme Court for killing criminals but he already had an explanation of mind:

“Judge, they ask for it. I have long warned them to stop using drugs. Now, they still have not

stopped. They asked for their own death, not me.” Duterte also warned police officials who were

protecting illegal drugs to stop or they could “go to hell, go to heaven or go somewhere else.”

Duterte said that he could only bring more investment in the country if drug addiction –

the problem triggering many other crimes – was stopped. “You must remember that, along the

way, the drug crisis hurt so many people including parents who raised their children from

childhood to college,” he said. In his speech in Cebu, he held, “Now I see children as young as

one year old, 12 years old getting raped and dumped. I have a grandchild. Can I assure that my

grandchild cannot become an addict? Can I really prevent things from happening if I am no

longer around to protect it? President Duterte is really determined to eradicate drug use the entire

issue on drugs. However, he is not aware of the other negative effects that cling to it. He just

want to directly hit his target not minding other factors. He and his allies even said that these
issue should be not called extrajudicial killings. These, they insist, should be called deaths under


Presidential spokesperson, Ernesto Abella even said last March 11 that the reason why

this (EJK) has become very serious is that many people in power and authority were part of these

crimes, especially illegal drugs. “Our legislative and judiciary are independent. We’re

cooperating with them,” he asid.

The Church’s Counterpart

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gen. 22: 39). Indeed, God commanded us to

love. This is the summary of what has been written in the Decalogue. Part of this is the command

“not to kill”. The Church is already alarmed because of these numerous news about killings.

In his visit to the Philippines in 2015, Pope Francis challenged Filipino families to be

‘sanctuaries of respect for life’. However, respect for life has apparently been left unheeded in

our country. Because of this, the Salesians of Don Bosco issued their statement that says, “We

support Pres. Duterte’s drive against all forms of illegal drug trafficking, and especially against

drug lords and drug pushers. However, we are alarmed by the recent wave of extrajudicial

killings . . . we believe that any attitude and course of action that disregards the basic principles

of modern jurisprudence has to be avoided.

Jerome Secillano, public affairs’ chief for the Catholic Bishops Conference of the

Philippines told the AFP that the (drug war) is not anymore in accord with the legal processes,

and the moral norms are being violated. So, he said that it is the time for the Church to speak up.

Series of criticisms were thrown by the Church because their move against drugs is really against

what the church values most: life. Last October, Archbishop Socrates Villegas issued a Pastoral
Letter. “I am ashamed of the things I read about the Philippines in the international media and

more ashamed of what I hear from our leaders,” he said. “It is good to remove drug problem, but

to kill in order to achieve this is also wrong. To push drugs is a grave sin as is killing except in

self-defense. We cannot correct a wrong by doing another wrong. A good purpose is not a

justification for using evil means.” See? The Church is 100% against killings. What happens is

really horrible.

The Old Testament always considered blood a sacred sign of life. This teaching remains

necessary for all the time. Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth

commandment: “Do not slay the innocent and the righteous”. The deliberate murder of an

innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of human being, to the golden rule, and to the

holiness of the Creator. The apostle Paul reminds us of this, “He who loves his neighbor has

fulfilled the law. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Human life and death are thus in the hands of God, in his power: “In his hand is the life of every

living thing and the breath of all mankind,” exclaims Job (2:10). “The Lord brings to death and

brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up” (1 Sam 2:6). He alone can say: “It is I who

bring both death and life. (Dt. 32:39)

Life as a Gift

“God created man in his image; in the Divine image he created him; male and female he

created them.” (Gen. 1:27). In the very beginning, on the first account of creation, God bestowed

man the gift: a life in which he was given privilege to accept and to give through procreation.

Man was created above other creatures and he was also made with this intelligence in order for

him to think rationally apart from animals. However, because of this inclination to egoism, man
sometimes chooses to do things that are only for his benefit. This life is often understood as

ordinary thing that seems to be as ordinary gift which can be set aside or returned if it is


Man is a king. “Created to exercise dominion over the world, he was given a likeness to

the King of the Universe,” as St. Gregory of Nyssa would say. Bestowed by this gift of life, man

was also given the power to rule in which he will use this power to protect and generate life.

Man’s lordship however is not absolute but ministerial. With regards to life, man is not the

absolute master and final judge, but rather he is the minister of God’s plan.

Human life is the basis of all human good. Most of the people regard it as sacred; no one

may dispose of it at will; and believers regard it even more highly as precious gift of God’s love

“which they are called upon to preserve and make fruitful.” Thus, life which has been given by

God constitutes to an act of preservation wherein no one can decide where or when to take it.

With regards to this, man has the responsibility with his life and also for the life of others. Acts

such as suicide, mercy killing, extrajudicial killing, and the likes will be held accountable for

man for it is against the Natural Law which is to preserve life at any means. This inalienable

right of man could never be taken away from him and this, attempts to do so constitutes to a

deeper gravity of sin.

Human life is never been given for a person to be alone. Along with this gift is the

inclination in which he will use his life to be part of others. As Aristotle would say, “Man is a

social being.” Each of us are inclined to belong to the society. Our individuality needs

participation to belong to a communion. With this human life, a group of people can be

interrelated and they can become persons with commonality who aims for the common good.
Challenge to the People

With these alarming events occurring in our country, a simple question arises, “Will the

Filipinos keep their mouth shut and pretend as if something evil is not happening?” We have

known that this is somewhat identical to what had happened in our history. Filipinos were put

under subordination, but at that time, under a foreign ruler. Now, we are opt to follow this leader

who is a native of this country. But, what makes it different is that, it is the will of most of us.

We were given the power to exercise our freedom and to choose a leader who will look for the

common good of the people. But, I want to ask whom used their power to put Digong in

position, “Is your freedom really that “unfree” that your exercise of power is just brought about

of the influence of the many?”

A great number of people have already died. God wants to save us especially those who

have gone astray. However, these persons who were “lost” that could possibly change were

deprived of the right to live. President’s words? “They’re criminals! And criminals are not worth


The Church really fights that God’s mercy cannot be fathomed and that living persons,

righteous or not, is His possession. Therefore, he has the only right to take them from this world.

We are part of the Church. The villainous act of the administration is a simple reminder for us to

make up and join hand in hand to go against those who oppose God’s command. If this has been

done in history, why can’t we do it?

Benigno Simeon Aquino Jr. once said, “Filipinos are worth dying for.” Even Dr. Jose

Rizal proved to us how death could never obstruct our stand against what is immoral. In our

case, these modern days, we are been cuffed by our fear of death. Of not belonging to the state.
Of the consequence in opposing the government. But, our fear is also a reminder that along with

this feeling, many people die; many people suffer. As part of the Church, we must have the

voice. We must fight for what’s right because in the end, the just will prevail.


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A Research Paper

An output submitted in partial fulfillment

of the Requirements in

Rel. Ed. 104 (Christian Living)

Academic Year 2016-2017

Presented to

Bro. Eric L. Legada


Submitted by

Sem. Kenneth C. Dolloso

AB Philosophy – 2

March 19, 2017