CHR says ‘harsher drug war’ may lead authorities to disregard due process
MANILA, Philippines — A “harsher” drug war may encourage authorities to disregard due process, the Commission on Human Rights warned on Thursday.
“While the President’s “harsher drug war” remark might be intended to forewarn those who are into the business of doing drugs, threatening to kill can be interpreted as a directive and embolden state agents to dismiss due process,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.
CHR was reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that his anti-drug campaign will be “harsher.”
“And I am declaring war. I am not declaring a punitive police action. It cannot help and it would not help. So early on I decided but I think I’d be more — well I said harsher in the days to come,” the President said in a speech on Wednesday.
The rights body said the warning is an “understatement” as thousands were already killed under the drug war.
“With the thousands that have already been killed because of this campaign, “harsh” is an understatement and a trivialization of the lives that were lost — it is irreversible, and the suffering of families of victims can be lifelong,” De Guia said.
“To say that it will be ‘harsher’ insults the victims and their families while the drug trade has not seemingly waned,” she added.
CHR then asked the Duterte administration to re-think its approach to the drug war by observing the “rule of law, due process and respect for human lives.” /ee
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