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Drug purge success or sham?

MANILA (SE): “The fight against crime is apparently becoming a looming state-sanctioned cover for a policy of summary executions and extrajudicial killings,” Leila de Lima, a former secretary for justice and currently member of the senate, wrote in filing a resolution on July 13 seeking a congressional investigation into the mass murder of civilians. 

Under the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, around 300 dead bodies have been found strewn around the country since polling day on May 9.

While a press release from the president’s office hails Duterte’s war on drugs a success, because nearly 200 people have been killed without due process, media reports show around another 100 unidentified bodies have been found  with signs attached to them detailing their supposed crimes.

“While the campaign against drugs is far from perfect, a generation of Filipinos has  been saved from this scourge of society and destroyer of lives,” the press release says.

Although the Duterte administration has expressed its opposition to vigilante justice, increasing numbers of people are viewing this statement as a fig leaf.

While the bishops of the country have said little, except that they are disturbed at the extent of massacre, the Citizen Council on Human Rights is urging them to be unambiguous in their condemnation of violence.

CBCP News reported on July 14 that the group is asking if the killing of suspected criminals without due process equates to success or sham.

Danica Duno, from the Youth for Human Rights, said at a press conference in Quezon City, “Many suspected criminals are being killed without due process. That’s why Churches and schools must teach that killing is immoral.”

She added that the problem does not lie in the fight against crime, but in the process.

The Citizen Council on Human Rights is asking the president to break the cycle of human rights violations and not compound it.

It stresses that the government must initiate measures that will stop the increasing death toll of suspected drug offenders in the make-believe shootouts with the police and the undisguised vigilante-style murders.

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