De Lima Bill Proposes Arresting Police to Use Megaphone, No Firing of Warning Shots

Senator Leila de Lima filed a bill, requiring all PNP (Philippine National Police) officers to use megaphone as warning that they are going to arrest a suspect during operations. In addition, the neophyte senator wants to ban firing of warning shots by arresting officers. Apparently, this is her idea on how to prevent or at least minimize extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the country.

Filed by Sen. De Lima this Tuesday, October 11 as Senate Bill 1197 (or the Anti-Extrajudicial Killing of 2016), extrajudicial killing was defined as “the unlawful, and deliberate killing of targeted individuals or groups thereof, carried out by agents of the State and under its order or acquiescence in lieu of arrest, investigation and prosecution.”

Once the bill becomes a law, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will now have an authority to investigate EJK cases, motu propio or on complaint. On the other hand, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) shall be mandated to make relevant services available to the CHR and PNP. in their inquiries or investigation of such EJK cases.

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Meanwhile, Section 5 (c) of Sen. De Lima’s bill enumerated the SOP (standard operating procedure) that should be strictly followed for every police operations. This includes arresting officers to use megaphone to warn the suspect/s, and that firing of warning shots is absolutely prohibited. Nevertheless, use of force is allowed but it should be proportionate..

“The penalty of life imprisonment without the benefit of parole shall be imposed upon any public officer, person in authority, agent of a person in authority, or private individual found guilty of extrajudicial killing as defined herein.” Section 10 of the bills reads, pertaining to the penalty to all officers who will be abusive of their powers.

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“Public officials who fail to prevent, investigate, or file necessary actions in court against those suspected of having committed an extrajudicial killing shall be administratively liable according to applicable laws. The local chief executive and chief of police shall be 24 presumed administratively negligent where there is increase in EJK cases.” It added.