SEVEN months after President Rodrigo Duterte implemented his anti-drugs campaign, highlighted by the deaths of over 7,000 suspected drug users and pushers, Nobel Prize winner Amnesty International, acting on the indignation by the international community, including the United Nations, as well as its commitment to the rights, dignity and well-being of each individual, went to the Philippines and conducted an investigation of the anger-provoking extrajudicial killings (EJK) under the Duterte regime.
This newspaper ran a number of editorials and published articles in previous issues in favor of the campaign, but against EJK.
After Amnesty International made its report public last month, citing that the killings appeared widespread, deliberate and systematic and could be the object of another investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as “crimes against humanity” if not stopped, President Duterte announced he was halting all police operations throughout the country related to his anti-drugs campaign.
Since that announcement by Mr. Duterte, there had been no reports of drug-related killings, according to an opposition congressman.
Thank you Amnesty International (AI)!
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S REPORT (From AI’s Press)
Amnesty International’s investigation, “If you are poor you are killed”: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines’ “War on Drugs” details how the police have systematically targeted mostly poor and defenseless people across the country while planting “evidence,” recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports.
“This is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director.
Acting on instructions from the very top of government, the Philippine police have killed and paid others to kill thousands of alleged drug offenders in a wave of extrajudicial executions that may amount to crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said in a published report.
“Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police.”
Now, our honorable question: Will those who ordered and implemented the killings be made accountable?