Group says ‘Tokhang’ relaunch a ‘superficial makeover’
Human rights group Karapatan on Tuesday said the re-launching of the anti-drug operation of the government as a “superficial makeover” and an admission that there was something wrong with the policies of the drug war.
“The relaunch of the police and Duterte administration’s Oplan Tokhang, after being suspended twice in 2017, is a tacit admission that there is something fundamentally wrong with these policies regarding the drug war, and yet here is Duterte and his Philippine National Police (PNP) again, trying to shove what the Filipino people have already spewed out,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
“It is a superficial makeover of a policy that has earned public condemnation,” she added.
Palabay added that even with a time period of the drug operation it was “doomed to fail” for it “completely missed the point” of the issue regarding human rights.
“The PNP has already tried the rhetoric that the drug campaign will be a ‘gentler’ campaign, but it completely misses the point. It doesn’t matter if operations are only between 8 am to 5 pm, if you have a corrupt police force who disrespects human rights and considers themselves above the law, violations are inevitable regardless of the time. Furthermore, no self-respecting human rights advocate will deliberately involve themselves in such operations,” Palabay said.
“At the end of the day, this entire campaign is doomed to fail because its logic disregards so many aspects of drug use, its solution superficial, and its main implementers are very much part of the problem,” she added
The secretary general also said that it was “laughable” to claim the campaign against illegal drugs as an adherence to the rule of law and respect to human rights given the number of policemen who escaped the number of death recorded.
“How many policemen have escaped accountability? How many are emboldened to murder the poor with a free pass? The poor’s right to due process has been violated over and over again. Ultimately, this bloody campaign brings us to a dark realization: a still prevalent drug trade, a fraudulent police force, and thousands of poor Filipinos dead,” Palabay said. /cbb
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