‘Drug war toll shows admin’s low regard for human rights’
People should stop accepting the government’s claim that the victims in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs were killed because they had fought back against law enforcers, according to detained Sen. Leila de Lima.
In a statement, De Lima said the official death toll, which had breached the 5,000 mark, showed that law enforcers have low regard for human rights.
Aside from the 5,000 in the official tally, thousands more have been slain in vigilante-style killings, she added.
The government, she said, has failed to account for the rising body count in the President’s drug war, which has orphaned many children.
She noted that presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo continued to defend the drug war by saying that those who died had resisted arrest.
“I cannot allow Panelo to continue to poison the public’s mind with the Duterte administration’s oft-repeated but flawed proposition that the increasing number of deaths due to the crackdown on drugs was because suspected drug offenders have all resisted police arrest with violence,” she said.
De Lima called on her Senate colleagues and human rights advocates to continue to make the Duterte administration accountable for the drug war deaths and recognize the damage that it had wrought on Filipino families.
De Lima, one of President Duterte’s most vocal critics, is detained on what she says are trumped-up drug charges. —Leila B. Salaverria
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