Group questions suggestions for next admin to continue 'bloody' drug war | Inquirer News
despite ‘damning’ CHR report

Group questions suggestions for next admin to continue ‘bloody’ drug war

/ 11:39 AM May 31, 2022
Suggestions for the next administration to continue the war on drugs despite a "damning" report from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) heaped criticisms from a rights group, saying that the anti-drug campaign has been bloody and deadly.

Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan. (Photo from her Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — Suggestions for the next administration to continue the war on drugs despite a “damning” report from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) heaped criticisms from a rights group, saying that the anti-drug campaign has been bloody and deadly.

In a statement on Tuesday, Karapatan called out outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte for suggesting to President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. the continuation of the drug war, which was supposedly made in some of the meetings between the two leaders.

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Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay claimed that the drug war only pushes for more killings and even more impunity.

“Despite the CHR’s damning report indicting the Duterte administration for failing to protect human rights in the sham and bloody drug war, Duterte wants the incoming Marcos-Duterte administration to continue this murderous campaign,” Palabay said.

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“Without doubt, this only means more killings and even more impunity,” she added.

READ: Bongbong Marcos says President Duterte told him to continue drug war | Palace: No issue if Marcos makes Duterte his ‘drug czar’ 

Palabay was referring to the CHR report released mid-May, where the Commission said that the administration’s drug war only encouraged impunity and failed to protect the people’s rights.

CHR remained firm on its assertions that there were many instances when law enforcers used excessive force and showed an intent to kill drug war suspects, citing that police have been using the “nanlaban” tag too much, or claims that suspects fought it out with the police.

READ: Duterte’s ‘drug war’ encouraged impunity, failed to protect rights – CHR report 

As of April 30, the so-called Real Numbers on the drug war released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency showed that 6,248 suspects have died in legitimate drug operations since Duterte took office on July 1, 2016.

Palabay said the drug war should not continue as CHR’s report also highlighted that justice has not been provided to most of the drug war victims’ families.

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“The CHR’s report clearly states, verbatim, that ‘justice remains elusive’ for the victims of the sham drug war and their families, precisely because of the failure of domestic accountability mechanisms due to the Duterte administration’s blatant efforts to stonewall independent inquiries and investigations,” Palabay noted.

“The ICC should therefore resume its investigations as soon as possible to prosecute Duterte,” she added.

The war against illegal drugs has been a landmark campaign of President Duterte, who ran in 2016 on a promise to rid the streets of illegal drugs in three to six months.

Duterte and his allies have earned criticism for the drug war, not only because of failing to remove drugs from the country, but also due to the campaign being bloody and violent.

However, there are some sectors that claim that the number is larger, leading to complaints against past and present PNP officials and President Duterte himself before the International Criminal Court (ICC), for allegedly committing the crime against humanity of murder.

Last September 2021, the ICC pre-trial chamber authorized the start of the investigation of the drug war, acting upon the request of former prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.  But in November 2021, ICC granted the Philippine government’s request to stop the investigation of the drug war killings, with the latter claiming that the justice system in the country is fully functional.

READ: ICC pre-trial chamber authorizes start of probe into Duterte’s drug war | ICC suspends PH drug war probe, warned of Duterte ‘ruse’ 

As of now, there has been only one case where police officers involved in the drug war were convicted — that of teenager Kian delos Santos, who was summarily executed despite surrendering and pleading innocent, according to court findings.

READ: 3 policemen guilty of killing Kian delos Santos — court 

JPV
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TAGS: CHR, CHR report, Commission on Human Rights, Cristina Palabay, Drug war, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Impunity, Karapatan, Philippine news updates, Rodrigo Duterte, War Against Illegal Drugs
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