But first, let’s be clear about the definition of “extrajudicial killings and summary executions”
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano was right when he cited former President Benigno Aquino III’s Administrative Order 35 to show the problematic definition of “extra-judicial killings“ [Star].
There is no standard international definition of the term “extrajudicial killings”. Quoting Ballesteros of the [Manila Times], even “UN bodies have interchangeably used the terms ‘extrajudicial execution,’ ‘summary execution’ and ‘arbitrary execution’ to refer to intentional murders of crime suspects by law enforcers.”
Hence, to ensure that you and I are on the same page, let’s adopt the most common definition adopted the most vocal critics of the Duterte Administration
– the Liberal Party-led Political Opposition. That is, for the purpose of this article, our preliminary definition shall be:
An extrajudicial killing is the drug-related killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.
This is, a working definition, but I feel that it’s incomplete, as it precludes unknown vigilante groups that the opposition alleges to have committed drug-related killings with the State’s imprimatur. Thus, we shall revise the definition into:
An "extrajudicial killing or summary execution" shall be defined as the drug-related killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process, or by civilians with the explicit approval of the State.
Meanwhile, “drug-related killings” shall be defined as homicides where the suspect, the victim, or the suspect’s motive has a history of, or is connected to, illegal drugs.
This shall be the the definition used for the rest of this article, so let’s get the numbers, shall we?