After Robredo calls drug war a ‘massive failure,’ Amnesty pushes for an overhaul
MANILA, Philippines – Human rights group Amnesty International on Monday renewed the call for a change in the government’s anti-drug strategy after Vice President Leni Robredo publicized her findings during her short stint as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs.
“Vice President Robredo gave a damning insider account of the government’s murderous approach to the drug problem,” Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia, said in a statement.
“This is yet more proof that the Duterte administration should address the problem through drug rehabilitation programs rooted in communities – not through a brutal policy of extrajudicial killings,” she added.
Based on her office’s findings, Robredo called President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war a “massive failure,” saying the government has only been going after small-time drug pushers.
She also underscored the need to change the government’s approach to the problem of illegal drugs, calling current treatment and rehabilitation programs inadequate.
“The government’s ‘war on drugs’ is a war on the poor, marked by human rights violations and rampant impunity for the police and other high ranking officials,” stressed Mariner. “Another approach is possible, one based on respect for human rights, human life and human dignity, which addresses the social conditions that give rise to illegal drug use and trade.”
Mariner added: “President Duterte must end Oplan Tokhang – his violent drug war policy – and initiate credible and independent investigations into past deadly operations, to obtain justice for countless victims of extrajudicial killings over the last four years.”
In July last year, Amnesty International published a report https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/07/philippines-un-investigation-urgently-needed-duterte-war-drugs/ on the alleged extrajudicial executions made by the police in the government’s drug war which they said “reaches the threshold of crimes against humanity.”
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