Military involvement in drug war to worsen rights abuse—Karapatan
A human rights group on Thursday claimed that the involvement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs will only worsen abuse on human rights.
AFP signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday. The said memorandum stated that the military will lead anti-drug operations in “conflict-affected” areas.
“It will worsen the impact on the civil and political rights of poor Filipinos, without addressing the social, economic and political bases of the problem of illegal drugs,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.
“With the AFP’s notorious record of human rights abuses against civilian communities through counter-insurgency programs like Oplan Kapayapaan and its all-out war campaign, there is no doubt that the AFP will further its militarist policies and approach in suppressing struggling communities using the mantle of the war on drugs,” she added.
The group reiterated that the government should instead uphold social and economic rights of people, instead of curbing people’s civil and political rights.
“The provision of secure jobs with living wages, access to social services, and empowerment of the people through organizations, unions, and cooperatives are the most effective deterrents against the use and trade of drugs,” Palabay said. ASU/rga
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