Reported deaths alarm CHR after drug war revived in Davao City

Reported deaths alarm CHR after drug war revived in Davao City

/ 05:44 AM March 28, 2024

Reported deaths alarm CHR after drug war revived in Davao City


In the 33 years that the Duterte family has ruled over Davao City, their “kill, kill, kill policies” have not put an end to the city’s drug problems, with the situation likely to remain the same despite Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte’s recent declaration he was reviving his father’s war on drugs, a youth group said on Wednesday.

“It’s proof that killing is not a solution and continuing this mania at the local and national levels is just a sign of failure,” Renee Louise Co, Kabataan executive vice president, said in a statement.


“Malacañang should be shaken to junk this fake war on drugs and take action on the indiscriminate killings in Davao,” Co added.


Co issued the statement after Duterte declared last week that he would renew in Davao City the campaign against illegal drugs, the same tactic used by his father, Rodrigo, when he was Davao City mayor and after he became the country’s president from 2016 to 2022.

READ: CHR launches probe on deaths in Davao City’s ‘restarted’ drug war

Three days after the younger Duterte’s declaration, five drug suspects were reportedly shot dead in police operations, according to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which has directed its regional office to conduct an investigation.

“The Commission vehemently denounces the alarming incidents of alleged extrajudicial killings associated with the antidrug campaign in Davao City, as these acts constitute grave violations of fundamental human rights, particularly the right to life and due process, and are in direct disregard [of] the principles of justice and the rule of law,” the CHR said in a statement.

The use of extrajudicial means undermines the rule of law and destroys the public’s faith in legal systems, hindering genuine efforts to address the root causes of drug-related problems in the country, it added.

‘Big scam’

For Co, Duterte’s declaration was a “big scam” because his father has not even been held liable for the thousands of drug suspects who were killed during his presidential term.


The elder Duterte is under investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity.

According to the Kabataan official, big-time drug lords were not caught during the former president’s antidrug campaign while the different problems that led to drug use among young people were not solved either.

“This is just a way to get rid of their adversaries and for the Dutertes to make sure they maintain their monopoly and control the trend of illegal drugs in the country,” Co alleged, referring to the accusations of several witnesses before the ICC, like Edgar Motabato and Arturo Lascañas, that the Dutertes were also involved in the drug trade in Davao City.

The CHR, meanwhile, reminded government officials, both at the local and national levels, that it would be more productive for them to pursue policies that uphold human rights and the rule of law instead of promoting violence and a culture of impunity.

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“As duty-bearer, the state has an obligation to respect and protect the human rights of every citizen, in particular, victims of drug-related killings. This includes taking decisive action to conduct prompt and impartial investigation into these incidents and ensuring that those responsible for the killings related to the antidrug campaign are held accountable, thereby attaining justice for the victims,” it said.

TAGS: Davao City, Drugs, Duterte, war on drugs

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