READ | STATEMENT CONDEMNING THE KILLING OF AN INNOCENT 11-YEAR-OLD BOY “ABEL” IN THE COURSE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AT BARANGAY GADUNGAN, PARANG, MAGUINDANAO DEL NORTE
The Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC) strongly condemns the killing of an innocent 11-year-old boy named “Abel” during the serving of a warrant of arrest by the police authorities at Barangay Gadungan, Parang, Maguindanao del Norte. It is truly a tragedy that the life of a young child was taken in the course of law enforcement.
As per the report, the subject of the warrant of arrest was a certain “Sor Amigos,” who is facing a murder charge. However, during the operation of the police authorities, 11-year-old Abel, who was only sleeping at the time, was killed. This incident is evidently a grave violation of the child’s right to life and security, which must be upheld at all times, as well as a violation of due process and the rule of law.
The incident clearly indicates the need for law enforcement authorities to implement maximum tolerance and strictly adhere to the provisions of the Rules of Court pertaining to the implementation of arrest warrants. Under the said Rules, the procedure for implementing an arrest warrant requires the arresting officer to inform the person to be arrested of the cause or grounds for the arrest and show the warrant of arrest, if possible. The arresting officer must also inform the person being arrested of their rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to counsel. Furthermore, no violence or unnecessary force shall be used in making an arrest.
As the Children Ombud of the Bangsamoro, the BHRC is duty-bound to protect and promote children’s rights, particularly in cases of abuse and violence. The BHRC has investigated the case and is now coordinating with the family and the witnesses to provide redress and other appropriate courses of action to hold the perpetrators accountable.
The BHRC calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation of the incident, identify the parties responsible for the death of Abel, and ensure that justice is served. The BHRC also urges all law enforcement agencies to adhere to the rule of law and to respect and protect the rights of every individual, especially children, in the performance of their duties.