29 August 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on crime has justified the large-scale murder of drug users without any judicial process. The national police chief Ronald Dela Rosa to the Senate that over 750 people had been killed by police in anti-drug operations while more than a thousand had been killed by shadowy figures. It is estimated that about two thousand people have been killed since he was elected in May. So it would appear that these shadowy figures killed 1200 people. Who are these shadowy figures? Both Mr Duterte and Mr Dela Rosa claim that the deaths are caused by drug syndicates waging war on each other. Is it not the duty of the government to intervene and protect the public from murder by the drug syndicates?
He promised to pardon policemen and soldiers for human rights violations, saying that he will “issue 1,000 pardons a day.” He also claims that the constitution allows him to pardon himself for crimes including mass murder. On national television he encouraged people to enforce laws themselves and promising them Presidential medals for killing drug dealers.
Qatar Tribune posted a story of Danica May, only five years old, who was hit in the head by a stray bullet when her grandfather Maximo Garcia was shot by a gunman at the back of their house. The grandfather survived the wound in the stomach but the child died in the hospital. This is senseless.
This license to kill is an excuse for some law enforcers and vigilantes to commit murder of their enemies with impunity and escape from justice.
The President publicised the names of more than 150 judges, politicians, and military personnel and demanded them to surrender themselves to investigations. He claims that these people are involved in the illegal drug industry.
When UN investigators and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Duterte for inciting violence and abusing basic human rights, he threatened to leave the UN. Let him do so. The UN special rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, said earlier this month that his directives “amount to incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law”. Whether the Philippines is a member or not, UN has the right to condemn this merciless killings and to take stern steps to protect the people of the Philippines and to enforce international law.
Instead of killing the drug users, Duterte should give them chance to recover from their addiction.
Finally, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle broke his silence and condemned all forms of murder, from slaying drug suspects to aborting babies. He also denounced the illegal drug trade, saying that the drug trade is “murdering” the youth’s dreams.
Philippines: War against drug is alarming and inhuman
29 August 2016