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Cordillera police chief’s “Shoot-To-Kill” order shows clear intent to kill Bolinget

January 20, 2021

Police Regional Office-Cordillera (PRO-COR) Director Rwin Pagkalinawan’s “shoot to kill” against Windel Bolinget “if he resists arrest” only shows their clear intent to kill and silence Windel Bolinget, knowing that the fabricated murder charge won’t hold merit in a court of law.

Right after the Wanted posters with a bounty of P100,000 against Bolinget was issued by the Cordillera police, several copies of the same poster were put up around Bolinget’s residence in La Trinidad, Benguet early in the morning of January 19. The same posters were also seen in Baguio City.

On the same day, Jan. 19, 2021, PRO-COR Chief R’win Pagkalinawan released a ‘shoot to kill’ order for Bolinget, adding ‘if nanlaban’ as qualifying circumstance.

The police has been exhausting the ‘nanlaban’ (resisting arrest) narrative to cover-up the unjust killings of innocent civilians and planting of evidence in the failed drug-war and so-called anti-insurgency operations.

Pagkalinawan’s statement is a pretext for the speedy extra-judicial killing of Bolinget before law and evidences will prove that this is a false charge. It is clear then that from the beginning, they didn’t have any plan to let Bolinget undergo trial for what he is being accused of and give him a chance to defend himself in a court of law.

Instead, they have been orchestrating this frame-up to execute a prominent leader of a peoples’ organization, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, and a vocal critic of the tyrannical Duterte regime. Pagkalinawan’s statement only encourages violence and terrorism among the ranks of the police. His brand of law enforcement is to ignore all ethics and standard of law enforcement, turning the men in uniform into executioners. This is shown in his violent eviction of a family in Taguig City earlier last year while brandishing a rifle, as clearly shown in a video, and now in his apparent intent to deny due process to a falsely accused civilian.

While Bolinget stated his intent to challenge this case, the police, however, is employing schemes to thwart the observance of due process for this case. To kill an innocent person and issue a shoot to kill order is INAYAN/PANIYAW in our practice and culture as Igorot indigenous peoples. Let us come together in condemning this injustice!

We must not be fazed by such brazen tyranny and carelessness. Instead, let us expose these abuses of power and irresponsible acts that endangers peoples’ lives.

We reiterate that if any harm befalls Bolinget, we hold the police and the Duterte regime accountable.

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