Updated: August 12, 2019 05:35 AM GMT
Family members and friends of victims of drug-related killings in the central Philippine province of Cebu hold a gathering to plan futures activities. (Photo by Brother Jun Santiago, CSsR.)
An ecumenical church group at the forefront of seeking justice for victims of drug-related killings in the Philippine capital has declared it will extend its work to other parts of the country.Rise Up for Life and for Rights, a Manila-based group announced that it is planning to organize activities in Cebu province."We want to show that the impact of the war on drugs has a nationwide effect," said Nardy Sabino, convenor for the group. "The killings are systematic," he said. President Rodrigo Duterte declared a "war against drugs" when he took power in 2016.The so-called war faces new scrutiny as the United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution to investigate the killings. Sabino said the police’s claim that suspects fight back during arrests also happens in other parts of the country."What’s happening in Metro Manila was also happening in [the provinces of] Cebu, Bulacan, Leyte, Tacloban, and other places," he said.Sabino, however, said the failure of church institutions to reach out to a wider public has become a setback in the campaign to organize families of victims outside of Manila."Battling the government’s propaganda was another difficulty," he said. "The public really believe that those killed were misfits, while the families suffer from emotional distress, fear, and trauma."
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