PHILIPPINES: Release investigation report of boy’s killing during demolition to his mother 

An Open Letter from the Asian Human Rights Commission to Ms. Leila de Lima, secretary of the Department of Justice (DoJ)

Ms. Leila de Lima
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
Fax: +63 2 521 1614

Dear Secretary De Lima:

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is writing on behalf of Glenda Leonor, mother of 17-year-old Arnel Leonor, who was killed during a demolition in Silverio compound in April 23, 2012 in Paranaque City.  Her son’s death and the wounding of other villagers had been the object of an investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), a special investigating body under your supervision.

In our discussion with Ms. Leonor, we have learned that even though the NBI’s investigation report was completed in May 17, 2012, as she also mentioned in her letter to you dated January 24, 2013, she was not given a copy of the report nor informed of the result. Before Ms. Leonor wrote to you, she also wrote to Claro Arellano, DoJ’s prosecutor general, on December 20, 2012 asking him for a copy of the NBI investigation report.

But despite Ms. Leonor’s repeated requests and visits to your office, no actions were taken. Her requests were ignored.

At the time of writing, Ms. Leonor and other complainants have been unable to obtain copies of the NBI investigation report. Nine months after the incident, none of the policemen and government officials who were involved have been charged. We are deeply concerned by the delay in the filing of charges against those involved in the demolition, which killed one boy and injured several others. This delay is due to the lack of transparency in the investigation.

As you are fully aware, in any investigation and prosecution of crime, it is a fundamental right of the complainants, in this case the family of the dead, to know the result and progress of the investigation for which they are pursuing a remedy. To ignore Ms. Leonor’s repeated requests for the NBI investigation report to ascertain what happened to her son is a complete disregarding of her, both as a mother of the victim, and as a complainant pursuing remedy.

Also, to ignore Ms. Leonor’s request not only prolongs a mother’s suffering in ascertaining what action she should be taking, but also denies her the right to truth in knowing what caused her son’s death.

Thus, the AHRC expects that you act on Ms. Leonor’s request by giving her copies of the NBI’s report promptly. I trust that you will also ensure that she is afforded with adequate legal assistance that she requires in pursuing the case.


Yours sincerely,



Md. Ashrafuzzaman
Programme Officer
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong

Document Type : Open Letter
Document ID : AHRC-OLT-006-2013
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Extrajudicial killings, Freedom of expression, Human rights defenders,