The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News

Philippines

Duterte urged to end 'murderous' war on drugs

Amnesty International steps up pressure after vice president's insider account of government policy

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

Updated: January 08, 2020 08:16 AM GMT
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Duterte urged to end 'murderous' war on drugs

A victim of the Philippine drug war lies dead in an ally in the Manila suburb of Navotas. (Photo: Vincent Go)

Share this article :
A leading rights group has called on the Philippine government to review its “murderous approach” to the country’s drug problem.

Amnesty International was responding to Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo’s call for the government to change its anti-drug strategy, including a halt to violent police operations.

“Vice President Robredo gave a damning insider account of the government’s murderous approach to the drug problem,” said Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International’s research director for Southeast Asia.

“This is yet more proof that the Duterte administration should address the problem through drug rehabilitation programs rooted in communities, not through a brutal policy of extrajudicial killings.

“Robredo’s assessment gives credence to what Amnesty International and others have said time and again: the government’s ‘war on drugs’ is a war on the poor, marked by human rights violations and rampant impunity for the police and other high-ranking officials.

“Another approach is possible, one based on respect for human rights, human life and human dignity, which addresses the social conditions that give rise to illegal drug use and trade.

“President Duterte must end Oplan Tokhang — his violent drug war policy — and initiate credible and independent investigations into past deadly operations, to obtain justice for countless victims of extrajudicial killings over the last four years.”

On Jan. 6, Vice President Robredo revealed her office’s findings during her 18-day stint as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs.

She said the government has only been going after small-time drug pushers and that treatment and rehabilitation programs are inadequate. She called on the government to bring proceedings against high-value targets and improve its collection and interpretation of drug-related data.

Robredo was appointed to the committee on Nov. 6, 2019. In her short stint she demanded transparency and access to documents and intelligence reports. She also called on the government to address the policy of abusive drug watchlists and recommended the adoption of a health-based approach.

President Rodrigo Duterte fired Robredo on Nov. 24.

Thousands of people have been killed in a wave of state-sanctioned violence since the start of Duterte’s presidency in 2016.

Support UCA News...

UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.

UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.

Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.

As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.

UCA News Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution