Lorenzana says no "blanket authority" to kill for proposed death squads
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said blanket authority will not be issued to people to kill criminals or other lawless elements in the planned death squad to be put up by the government.
In an interview with reporters late Thursday, Lorenzana said: " We will not allow people to have blanket authority to (kill) they suspect to be (New People's Army) sparrow elements. We need strict supervision."
Lorenzana said policemen and military should compose these death squads so there will be accountability. "You can court-martial them. If this will be made up of civilians, nothing will come of it."
Lorenzana said these operations will be legal. "It will not be EJK ( extrajuidicial killings) because we will ensure sparrow ( units) will be targetted," he explained.
He said other countries, like the US, have operations to kill criminals.
"Now, this is just a defense against the sparrow units in the past three years. They have killed 136 military, police, local officials, tribal leaders," said Lorenzana.
Lorenzana said some leftist leaders claim these sparrow units no longer exist, but he added "there are still people doing sparrow-like operations." He cited a soldier killed by a motorcycle-riding gunman in Negros last Nov. 3.
"Are we going to sit down, standby and watch our people being killed? We have to do something," said Lorenzana. "As the President said, if they can do that, we can also do it but we will control these things," added Lorenzana. DMS