Reds to Leni Robredo: Take next step, lead EJK victims in fight for justice
LUCENA CITY – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) called on Vice President Leni Robredo to take what the underground group said would be her logical next step after a shortlived stint as co-chair of a government body overseeing the war on drugs—join victims of summary killings in their demand for justice.
“The party enjoins Vice President Robredo to close ranks with the people,” said CPP in a statement issued on Monday, Nov. 25, by its public information officer, Marco Valbuena.
The group, which leads several other underground groups in a rebellion being fed by injustices in the countryside, said there are “tens of thousands” of victims of summary killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs who would need a leader like Robredo.
The government acknowledged the killing of 5,500 drug suspects in anti-drug operations that the Philippine National Police (PNP) defended as legitimate except that in 5,500 cases, suspects fought back or “nanlaban.”
Human rights groups, however, said the number had already exceeded 20,000 and doesn’t include scores who had been killed but remained unidentified.
Many families of the slain suspects disputed police versions of the killings, claiming their loved ones were victims of extrajudicial killings.
CPP said the coming Human Rights Day celebration on Dec. 10 would be “an auspicious day to amplify this call across the countgry and the world.”
CPP predicted that Robredo’s sacking as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was the fuse needed to “have the counter effect of encouraging more and more people to support her call to end the spate of extrajudicial killings perpetrated in the course of the drug war.”
The group mocked President Rodrigo Duterte’s firing of Robredo as ICAD co-chair, saying it “succeeded only in making himself look stupid.”
CPP said the excuse used by Duterte to fire Robredo, failure to come up with a plan to end the drug problem, was something Duterte would also be guilty of.
“Duterte claims he fired Robredo two weeks after appointing her for failing to come up with a plan to end the country’s drug problem, something he has failed to achieve for more than three years now, and which he first promised to end in six months,” CPP said.
On Sunday, CPP founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison alleged that Duterte was afraid that Robredo would learn about how he protects drug lords.
“Since the beginning, he has been afraid that she would discover from local officials and US intelligence how he actually protects the biggest drug lords under his mafia syndicate or crime family,” Sison said in a separate statement.
Sison said Duterte was never sincere in his appointment of Robredo as drug czar.
“Now, Duterte looks like a fool by firing her after only two weeks,” he added.
Sison said the Filipino people expected Robredo to “expose the criminal operations of the Duterte drug empire and denounce how she has received no cooperation from Duterte and ICAD but attacks, disinformation and sabotage of her work as ICAD co-chair.”
On Oct. 31, Duterte appointed Robredo as co-chair of ICAD. Robredo accepted it on Nov. 6.
Edited by TSB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.