Leftist groups say Robredo report useful in push for UNHRC probe of Duterte drug war
MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Leni Robredo’s report on her abbreviated stint in the government’s anti-narcotics committee may be used to bolster the call for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to pursue an investigation of the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs, according to militant groups critical of the bloody campaign.
“This report can also be used as added basis for the United Nations Human Rights Council to pursue an investigation on Duterte’s drug war,” the Gabriela women’s party list said on Monday (Jan. 6).
The group, led by Rep. Arlene Brosas, said Robredo’s report, which called the three-year drug war a “massive failure” as it had seized only 1 percent of the illegal narcotics supply, exposed the reality that the drug war is “bogus” and a “sham.”
Gabriela said the report was proof that President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs was a “sham war that targets the poor but lets big-time drug lords and their suppliers run scot-free.”
Robredo’s findings, according to the party, “is a manifestation that the government’s Oplan Tokhang spawned the deaths of thousands coming mostly from poor communities.”
Citing data from the Philippine National Police, Robredo said an estimated 156,000 kilograms of shabu, or crystal meth, was being consumed in the Philippines every year, or about 3,000 kg of shabu every week.
Then she pointed out that despite the huge consumption, law enforcers had seized only a paltry proportion in the same period: 1,344.87 kg last year, 785.31 kg in 2018, and 1,053.91 kg in 2017.
Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat echoed Gabriela’s position, saying it was obvious that the authorities, including “ninja cops,” were only using the drug war to profit and to snuff out thousands of lives.
“Because of this, Congress should heed our call under House Resolution No. 440 to investigate the drug war and to take the perpetrators to task for the killings,” she said.
The Makabayan bloc filed the measure seeking an investigation of the “gross violations by police officers” of its own manual during anti-drug operations.
But an administration ally, Rep. Jericho Nograles of the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party list, said Robredo should ease off the complaints.
He then criticized the Vice President’s recommendation to transfer jurisdiction of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs since “the budget season is already over and the budget has been signed.”
“Why make a statement only now? Let’s not be like that. We all belong in the same government working for the same people,” he said.
Nograles also took issue with Robredo’s call for an end to Operation “Tokhang,” referring to the moniker for the government’s door-to-door campaign against drug peddlers, saying “there is no more Tokhang, is there?”
Edited by TSB
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