16 senators sign resolution calling on gov't to stop killings of minors

MANILA, Philippines – Sixteen of 23 senators filed a resolution urging the government to stop the killings of children and minors.

Proposed Senate Resolution 516 was filed on Monday, September 25, urging the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to “undertake the necessary steps to stop the spate of killings, especially of our children.”

The measure also calls for a Senate investigation into the issue to determine the “institutional reasons, if any, that give rise to such killings.”

“Due to the alarming spike in the number of children recently killed in blatant violation of their rights guaranteed by the Constitution, Philippine laws and international treaties, there is an urgent need to conduct an investigation of these senseless killings,” the resolution read.

The resolution cited data from the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, which said at least 54 minors have been killed in either police operations or vigilante-style killings since July 2016 or when Duterte took office.

It also mentioned the brutal killings of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, and 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman at the hands of policemen.

All 6 minority members signed it: Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Leila de Lima. It was Pangilinan who spearheaded the resolution.

Ten administration senators signed it, including Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Senators Grace Poe, Francis Escudero, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Juan Edgardo Angara, Loren Legarda, Joel Villanueva, Sherwin Gatchalian, Nancy Binay, and Panfilo Lacson.

Only 7 senators did not sign the resolution: Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senators Richard Gordon, Cynthia Villar, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Gregorio Honasan, and Manny Pacquiao. Pimentel and Pacquiao are party mates of Duterte in the ruling party PDP-Laban.