Drug war: Pacquiao says kill suppliers; Montemayor, Mangondato reject EJKs
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Manny Pacquiao said Sunday that illegal drug suppliers should be killed, while his fellow presidential candidates Jose Montemayor Jr. and Faisal Mangondato denounced extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
The three presidential bets talked about their position on alleged EJK under the drug war during the group debate segment of the second presidential debate hosted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“If I become president, I will continue the war on drugs, but I will not kill drug users. Those I will kill are the drug suppliers, and I will even make it public because they should be the ones punished. The poor drug users are only being victimized,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.
He also vowed to investigate alleged EJK cases, saying he could not give a conclusion without an investigation.
He also said police officers proven to have abused their authority in conducting the drug war should be held accountable. However, he also vowed to protect the welfare of the police and the military for “balance.”
Meanwhile, Mangondato, who hails from Mindanao, noted that EJKs had long been happening in the southern region.
He stressed that the right of each Filipino to live should be protected by the government.
“If they have sinned, it should be brought to justice, and if there needs to punishment, it should be imposed on them, but human life was given by God,” Mangondato said.
Montemayor, for his part, said that EJK cases had been happening since the time of the late president Ferdinand Marcos.
“No one would deny that. It has been happening ever since the time of Marcos up to now,” he said.
He noted that police officers themselves could admit to EJK cases once President Rodrigo Duterte had stepped down from office.
“Second, so many families are crying because their relatives were killed. Is there still due process now? No, there’s none.)
Montemayor lamented that “the government is committing human rights violations right and left” as he also denounced red-tagging — or the linking of individuals or groups to the communist movement.
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