Artists, celebrities demand halt of gov’t brutal war on drugs
More than a hundred Filipino artists are urging President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the government’s bloody war on illegal drugs as they denounced the recent drug-related killings in the country, especially of the “the innocent and young.”
“We, Filipino cultural workers, condemn the killings wrought by the war on drugs, especially of the innocent, the young, and those caught in the crossfire,” they said in a statement released on Sunday.
“We denounce the normalization of these killings, the pardon of rogue police and military men, and the abetting of authorities’ abuse against citizens,” they added.
The statement was signed by 168 cultural workers, among them were writers Ricky Lee and Lourd de Veyra, filmmakers Lav Diaz and Jun Lana, actors Angeli Bayani and Cherry Pie Picache, director Quark Henares, and musician Ebe Dancel.
While the government is waging war against illegal drugs, the group noted its “silence” on the issue of the P6.4-billion worth smuggled shabu from China that allegedly slipped past the Bureau of Customs.
“Where Filipinos are dying on mere suspicion of involvement in drugs, where deaths are justified by victims’ inclusion in questionable drug lists, where a few grams of drugs on a person has been used to justify murder, government has fallen silent on the P6.4-billion worth of smuggled drugs from China, for which there have been no suspects charged,” the artists said in a statement.
The artists then called for an end to Duterte’s drug war, and demanded justice for the “thousands dead” in police operations and the “thousands more in summary executions.”
“We say: then there is no reason to believe in, or stand for, this war the President is waging,” they said.
“We call for an end to President Duterte’s war on drugs. We demand that those responsible for the thousands dead in official police operations and the thousands more in summary executions be brought to justice,” they added.
The group also said they unite with other sectors, nongovernment organizations, the few government agencies and fewer members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, who stood against the killings.
“We unite with all other sectors, non-government organizations, the few government agencies and fewer members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, that have taken a stand against the killings,” the artists said.
“We urge them to stand not just against the killing of the innocent and the young, but also against this war on drugs, given how it has been implemented, and its promise of thousands more dead.”
They also vowed to never fall silent again and to stand against “fear and hate.”
“We sign this statement as individual workers of the cultural sector, united by our collective anger against the current state of violence and bound by our continued belief in our basic rights. We sign as cultural workers who stand against fear and hate, who will fight for freedom and justice, and who now vow to never fall silent again,” the artists said. JPV
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