News Release | August 26, 2017
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
Duterte’s war on drugs is an immense failure – Karapatan
“The drug war campaign is taking this nation nowhere. As the bodies pile up, the root causes of the illicit drug trade has barely been scratched on the surface. The Duterte regime is no closer to solving the drug problem today than when he took office last year. This war on drugs has been a massive failure, a tragedy which has rid the Filipino people of their rights and has normalized abuses by State forces. As we mourn for Kian Lloyd delos Santos today, let us strengthen our resolve for justice for all victims of State terror,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
17-year-old Kian Delos Santos was killed on August 17, 2017 during police operations. Autopsy reports that he was defenseless when he was shot, contrary to the police narrative that he fought back. A CCTV video, as well as first-hand witnesses also denied allegations alluding to the scenario of “nanlaban.”
On Thursday,the Senate inquiry on the circumstances of Kian’s death further shed light on the injustice and arbitrariness of police conduct in relation to the drug war. “They have come up with some ridiculous excuses to hide the truth that the police murdered a 17-year-old. The PNP, emboldened by Duterte’s orders and policies, has exposed itself as capable of such heinous crimes, using taxpayer’s money to murder the Filipino people,” said Palabay.
Karapatan’s secretary general reiterated that the PNP, as an institution, have long been involved in corruption, extortion, and many other illegal activities. The case of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo who was killed inside the premises of Camp Crame and the release of Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 others involved in the Albuera rub-out incident are among those that highlight police abuses and impunity.
Palabay added: “The PNP itself is an organized crime syndicate. Having them carry out a bloody campaign such as the war on drugs is a disaster waiting to happen, and indeed it was a disaster. The most that these murderers got were suspensions or reassignment, incomparable to the grief, injustice and rights violations they have inflicted to the poor.”
“As the entire nation lays Kian to rest, we mourn for the thousands of others whose lives were taken in the course of this bloody campaign. We thus call for an end to the killings, the immediate prosecution of those involved, and an end to the war-on-drugs campaign. The Duterte regime should acknowledge that what it has waved as a flagship policy is now a failure that encourages police brutality and rids the poor of their rights,” concluded Palabay.
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.