Senate, House want probe on drug war death of 3-year-old girl

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 10) — Lawmakers want an investigation on the death of three-year-old Kateleen Myca Ulpina during an anti-drug operation conducted by the police.

Senator Risa Hontiveros and the Makabayan party-list in the House of Representatives filed separate resolutions this week to look into the police operation where the toddler was killed in the crossfire.

Hontiveros said aside from getting justice for Myca, she hopes the Senate inquiry could stop child victims in the war on drugs.

"Doon sa imbestigasyon sa pagkamatay ni Myca Ulpina, malaman dapat sino ang responsable sa kanyang pagkamatay, mapanagot ‘yung tao o mga taong iyon at mabigyan ng hustisya si Myca at ‘yung kanyang mga pamilya, and following on that very painful experience and lesson, mas magkaroon talaga ng proteksyon para sa ating mga bata kasi hindi una si Myca napatay or diretsong tinarget sa ilalim nitong war on drugs," she said in a media briefing.

This is not the first time a child was killed in a police operation, but Myca could be the youngest. Four-year-old Skyler Abatayo was killed in 2018 and Danica May Garcia, 5, in August 2016 in a drug raid.

"As of last year, 50 plus na, so teribleng nadagdagan pa itong pagkamatay ni Myca, so dapat bukod sa findings magkaroon ng rekomendasyon at iimplementa ‘yung mga rekomendasyon, paano siguraduhin talaga ang kaligtasan ng mga bata sa ating mga law enforcement operations," Hontiveros said.

If a probe takes place in the Senate, Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa will head it as chairman of the public order committee. His competence was questioned after he described Myca's death in a nonchalant remark.

"Dapat sana may ma-institutionalize na mas mahigpit pang terms of engagement at pagsasagawa talaga ng ganyang mga protocols sa hanay ng ating PNP para maiwasan at mabawasan ‘yung ganyang mga insidente," Hontiveros said.

Myca was killed on June 29 in Rizal province. The police maintained she was used by her father as a human shield during what police said was a buy-bust operation, something Myca’s mother disputed.