Surveys favoring drug war probe should urge gov’t to refine anti-drug policies–CHR
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is hoping that the government would correct its policies on the drug war after a recent survey revealed that more Filipinos are seeing no problem with the holding of investigations into the bloody anti-drug campaign.
“As such surveys represent the voice of the people, we hope the government sees this as an opportunity to correct policies that curtail the right to life and improve human rights situation in the country,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The result echoes the sentiments of the Commission in ensuring State participation and show that it is willing to hold perpetrator’s account,” she added.
On July 22, the SWS said that 60 percent of their 1,200 respondents believe that President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration should not stop the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) from investigating the war against illegal drugs.
This study was conducted weeks before the UNHRC member-states voted in favor of the Iceland-backed resolution asking High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to prepare a “comprehensive written report” on the human rights situation in the Philippines. At least 18 members voted in favor, 14 voted no, and 15 abstained.
Previously, the CHR also called on the government to cooperate with UNHRC especially if it firmly believes that there was no irregularity in the conduct of Oplan Tokhang, the police’s nationwide anti-drug program.
“Let the survey results be a guiding light for the government to do better in maintaining the rights of the people they swore to protect. The Commission on the other hand, through its mandate, will continue to monitor State compliance to the fulfilment of the rights and dignity of everyone,” De Guia noted.
Data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) says that 6,600 drug suspects have been killed while 240,565 drug personalities have been arrested, and over 1.2 million have surrendered. On the other hand, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) says that 5,500 suspects have been neutralized and 193,000 arrested.
However, opposition critics claimed that the “true” kill list may be over 11,000.
The CHR reiterated that it is willing to work with the government to answer concerns about the human rights scene in the country.
“In the interest of finding the truth and seeking justice, the Commission will continue to extend its hand in partnership with the government,” De Guia said.
“This is to lessen and answer concerns of alleged human rights violations during police operations. And if the government has nothing to hide, we appeal once again to allow independent investigations in the country,” she added. /jpv
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