When he spoke before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla highlighted the action taken by the Philippine government in the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid in a bid to dispute the perceived culture of impunity in the Philippines.
According to Remulla, the investigation into the Lapid case resulted in the discovery of a “deeply-rooted criminal enterprise inside the corrections” system.
“In the recent case of journalist ‘Percy’ Lapid, we were able to take resolute and pro-active action, upon the express directive of the President himself,” he said in his speech Monday (Nov. 14) during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines conducted by the UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland.
“In 17 days, we completed the investigation, case build-up and filing of charges against a high ranking government official, the first in decades,” Remulla bared.
During the investigation, Remulla said “we uncovered a deeply-rooted criminal enterprise inside the corrections pillar – another pillar of our justice system.”
“We will dispel the mistaken notion that there is a ‘culture of impunity’ in our country,” he assured.
“We will not tolerate the denial of justice nor any violation of human rights,” he added.
The investigation has already resulted in the filing of murder complaints against suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag for the death of the broadcaster and inmate Jun Globa Villamor who has been identified as one of the middlemen who contracted the hitmen of Percy Lapid.
“With the recent discovery of 176 unclaimed and abandoned cadavers of PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) at the accredited funeral home of our New National Bilibid Prison, I directed the conduct of an inventory and medico-legal investigation,” Remulla also said.
“This is to determine the causes of their deaths with the end view of making legally accountable those found responsible for these mysterious deaths,” he explained.