- Former president said deaths happening not due to EJKs for lack of capital punishment
- He said what’s happening now is murder and homicide
- He also said gov’t has duty to protect its citizens, go after murderers
MANILA, Philippines – Former president Benigno Aquino III explained that the deaths happening now cannot be said to result from extrajudicial killings due to lack of a capital punishment.
“If you say there is extrajudicial killing, then it means there is judicial killing. But I remember, we do not have the death penalty, so there is no judicial killing,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Therefore, there is no extrajudicial killing.”
According to Aquino, the right term would be murder and homicide.
“Clearly, there is murder, there is homicide taking place,” he said; adding that as of now, there is no concrete evidence to conclude that the killings taking place were officially sanctioned by the government.
The former president also said, simply put, the government has a duty to protect its citizens and go after the murderers.
“The state has an obligation to protect all its citizens and go after all those who have committed infractions against society,” he said. “Someone was murdered. Someone killed him. Go after the murderer and bring him to justice.”
Nevertheless, Aquino expressed his displeasure with the number of drug-related deaths happening; saying it runs contrary to the spirit of the Constitution.
“I’ve always said that however which way one looks at it, in the Constitution and in the church that I belong to, one death is one too many,” he said.
Aquino and his successor, President Rodrigo Duterte, have been at loggerheads after the latter accused his predecessor of failing to address the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.