Human rights group bats for drug war accountability
MANILA, Philippines – Human Rights Watch (HRW) Philippines’ researcher Carlos Conde on Thursday underscored the importance of accountability in the government’s campaign against drugs.
“At this point in the brutal drug war accountability is more important than the statistics, given how the government tries to manipulate stats thru #realnumbersPH,” Conde said in a Twitter post.
“While keeping track of number of victims is crucial, even more [important] now is keeping track of how many have been punished,” Conde added.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday reported that the number of drug suspects killed in anti-drug operations has reached 5,526 — lower than the June 2019 report of the Philippine National Police which stated that 6,600 persons linked to illegal drugs were killed from July 2016 to May 2019.
In addition, PDEA said 193,063 drug suspects have been arrested in 134,583 operations conducted nationwide.
Conde said there is no longer an argument as to how “catastrophic” the war against drugs is.
“Also, there is no longer any dispute as to how catastrophic the drug war is. The modus operandi of the government is well-established, its violations of the law and due process clearly documented,” Conde said.
“So whether it’s 10 or 10,000, it’s clear that government forces need to be held accountable,” he added.
PDEA’s presentation of drug war data came after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution seeking to look into the human rights situation in the Philippines.
The resolution submitted by Iceland last July 4 to the UNHRC sought for a “comprehensive written report” on the human rights situation in the country. /gsg
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