“Such pronouncement shows the government’s lack of concern and tendency to dismiss deaths relating to the war on drugs.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – A child rights group assailed the “insensitive remark” of former police chief now Senator-elect Ronald Dela Rosa who downplayed the recent killing of a three-year-old girl Myka Ulpina in a police buy-bust operation on June 30, 2019 in Rodriguez, Rizal.
In a press briefing, Dela Rosa was quoted as saying that “shit happens during operations” and that there are cases of “collateral damage” even when an operation is supposedly “honest to goodness.”
Frances Bondoc of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center said such pronouncement shows the government’s lack of concern and tendency to dismiss deaths relating to the war on drugs.
Apart from the three-year-old girl, her father and a police officer were also killed in the incident.
The Philippine police offered their “sincerest condolences,” saying that Renato, the father of the three-year-old girl, used her as a “human shield” during the police operations. This was outrightly denied by the victim’s mother in a television news report, adding that they were asleep when the police barged into their home.
This is not the first time that children have been either targeted for drug-related killings or became the so-called “collateral damage” in police operations. Among them was 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos, who was seen in a CCTV footage being dragged by police officers and later discovered to have been killed.
Earlier, the CRC has appealed to the United Nations Human Rights Council to conduct an investigation into the incidents of rights violations in the country.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights is already reportedly conducting its own investigation.
Bondoc said, “without such action from the international community, the slaughter of Filipinos, mainly from the poor, would continue as shown by the ever-growing record of violations and abuses caused by the drug war and the culture of impunity in our country.”