De Lima condemns ‘do-it- yourself justice’ on war vs drugs

Aug. 02, 2016
Senator Leila de Lima ( file photo)

Senator Leila de Lima ( file photo)

DAVAO CITY — Senator Leila De Lima said the “do-it- yourself justice” system under the Duterte administration’s war against illegal drugs has resulted to the spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions in the country.

In her first privilege speech in the Senate on Tuesday, August 2, De Lima said, “this latest brand of justice flagrantly disregards the basic rights to due process of the law of innocents and suspects alike as guaranteed to them under the Constitution.”

De Lima, who chairs the he Senate justice and human rights committee wants a probe on the extrajudicial and vigilante killings this month.

She said the public should oppose the murder of the innocents and the suspects.

“In the campaign against criminality, we cannot applaud criminal methods merely because we are left unaffected. Life has more value than an accusation written on a piece of cardboard whether you are rich or a scum of the earth. Needless to say, all lives matter,” she said.

The Senator cited the official records of the Philippine National Police, which recorded about 395 drug offenders who were killed in police operations – an average of 13 deaths every day from July 1 to August 1.

“Higher figures are even reported by certain media outlets. I am not saying that all or most of those incidents are cases of summary killings. But several do have telltale signs that several are,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch called on the International Narcotics Control Board and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to condemn the surge of killings of suspected drug users and pushers in the Philippines.

More than 300 other organizations and the HRW signed a joint letter drafted by the International Drug Policy Consortium and urged the global drug control agencies to condemn the killings as it “do not constitute acceptable drug control measures.”

Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director of HRW said “the international drug control agencies need to make clear to Philippines’ President Roderigo Duterte that the surge in killings of suspected drug dealers and users is not acceptable ‘crime control,’ but instead a government failure to protect people’s most fundamental human rights.”

“President Duterte should understand that passive or active government complicity with those killings would contradict his pledge to respect human rights and uphold the rule of law.”The consortium also called on the UNODC and the INB  to request Pres. Duterte to put an immediate end to incitements to kill suspected drug-related personalities, encourage him to uphold the rule of law and ensure that the suspects’ right to due process.

The group also want the promotion of an “evidence-based and health-focused approach” to people who use drugs and to call on the country not to reimpose death penalty for drug offenses.(

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