Stop the bloodshed, human rights defenders tell Duterte
July 14, 2016 - The Citizen’s Council for Human Rights (CCHR) today asked President Rodrigo Duterte to initiate measures that will halt the surge of extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and drug offenders. The group also called for the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for human rights violations committed in the course of the war on drugs.
In a press statement, CCHR said that the President’s campaign for peace and order has resulted in an alarming rise in killings, which has already claimed 251 lives between May 10 and July 13. According to Max de Mesa, chair of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and convenor of CCHR, the arbitrary killing of suspected offenders violates the right to due process and denies citizens the right to a fair trial.
“We believe that summary methods that violate the right to life and to due process will not solve the country’s crime and illegal drugs problem. Instead, it will only exacerbate the problem of lawlessness and violence in the country,” de Mesa said.
Other recommendation of the group include:
Strictly prohibit LGU Executives and law enforcement units from implementing torture and dehumanizing methods in the fight against crime and drugs.
Review and reform the criminal justice system and root out corruption
Professionalize and raise the human rights and respect for the rule of law standards of the PNP, PDEA, NBI and other law enforcement agencies
Institute mechanisms widely accessible to ordinary Filipinos so that corruption, involvement in crime, violations to the rule of law and due process as well as extra judicial killings and other grave excesses can be promptly reported to relevant institutions.
Review and reconsider state policy on drug addiction and make available and accessible proper drug rehabilitation programs
Invest in the realization of a life of dignity for all
CCHR is a broad coalition of non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs), human rights lawyers, religious sector and members of the academe that came together to defend and assert human rights for all.