Push for death penalty will worsen PH climate of impunity — Amnesty Int’l
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s renewed call to reimpose the death penalty in the Philippines will only worsen the country’s climate of impunity amid the government’s campaign war on drugs, Amnesty International said.
“Extrajudicial killings remain rife in the Philippines. Talk of bringing back the death penalty for drug-related crimes is abhorrent, and risks aggravating the current climate of impunity,” Amnesty International Philippines Section Director Butch Olano said in a statement on Monday.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, Duterte urged Congress to pass a measure to reimpose capital punishment for heinous crimes, plunder and crimes related to illegal drugs.
“The state of our nation is a state of mourning,” Olano said about Duterte’s Sona, adding that his speech was a “missed opportunity” to talk about taking stock on the death of three-year-old Myka Ulpina and “thousands of others” allegedly killed in the government’s drug war.
Ulpina died when she was caught in a crossfire between suspected drug pushers and police officers in Rodriguez, Rizal last June.
“The President addressed the topic of drugs but did not confront the truth. The country needs an approach that delivers justice for the families of the thousands unlawfully killed, and effective health and social services for those who need them,” Olano said.
He added that that administration’s “war on the poor” does not end with the killings, and it only sends families and whole communities into a “living hell, all to protect a cruel and repressive policy that is doing nothing to protect people from the risks of drugs.” /muf
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