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Gordon: DDS, EJK not linked to Duterte but threats vs. criminals ain’t good

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President Rodrigo Duterte isn’t linked to the infamous Davao Death Squad, much less extrajudicial killings, the Senate committee on justice and human rights has found.

In a 100-page committee report submitted by Senator Richard Gordon Wednesday (Dec. 7) to his colleagues, the Senate panel said there is insufficient evidence to prove that Duterte has any involvement with the DDS which allegedly carried out unauthorized executions when he was Davao City mayor.

Despite clearing Duterte of ties to EJKs and DDS, Gordon advised the President to be a role model while continuing to wage the war against the illegal drug menace.

“The President needs to be mindful of his role as head of State and be careful with his words, avoid inappropriate statements lest they be construed as policies of the State. There may also be accusations of tolerance hurled against him because of the overwhelming support he gives to the police, manifested by his colorful language against drug pushers, may be perceived as a condonation of the violations of human rights and due process that the police are committing, in the guise of putting an end to the drug menace,” he said.

Gordon presided over three of the six hearings held by the justice panel with the committee on public order and dangerous drugs after its original chair, Sen. Leila de Lima, was unseated.

Even as the Duterte administration is bent on catching drug suspects, Gordon said law enforcement officer s National Police should not treat those they catch humanely.

The police and other law enforcement officers, through Project “Tokhang” or any similar program, must be admonished and refrained from urging “surrenderees” to sign “voluntary surrender certificates” in violation of their Constitutional rights, particularly the rights of the accused,” he said.