Arroyo: Cooperate with CHR in slay probes
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 12:11:00 03/30/2009
MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed all concerned government agencies to cooperate with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in its investigation into vigilante killings in Davao City, Malacañang said Monday.
“That’s the duty of the Commission on Human Rights [CHR] and the government will cooperate with them,” Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said in an interview on radio station dwIZ.
The CHR will begin on Monday its public inquiry into the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), which has been blamed for some 800 killings in Davao City over the last 11 years.
While the vigilante group has targeted suspected criminals, it has
also allegedly killed minors.
The CHR will also look into allegations that the DDS was working with the blessings of local government officials.
Remonde said the President gave a similar directive for the military to cooperate with a separate CHR inquiry into the killing of substitute teacher Rebelyn Pitao in Davao City last March 4.
Pitao is the daughter of Leoncio Pitao alias Commander Parago, commander of communist guerrilla forces in the Davao Region.
The family has blamed the military for the Young Pitao’s death.
“The President has ordered the military to cooperate with any and all investigations to be conducted by the Commission on Human Rights,” Remonde said.
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