READ | Political prisoners lead Bagong Diwa detainees in call to end drug war EJKs

October 24, 2017 - 12:09 PM
Blood flows from the body of a man killed in a shootout with police in Manila. (Reuters file)

MANILA, Philippines — More than 700 detainees in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City have signed a petition seeking an end to the thousands of killings that have marked the administration’s war on drugs.

Human rights group Karapatan said the petition, initiated by women political prisoners of the Taguig City Jail-Female Dormitory, has been signed by 747 detainees — 314 females and 433 males — since it was launched on September 21.

Nais naming ipaabot sa mga kinauukulan na nagpapahalaga at tagapagtaguyod ng karapatan ng mamamayan ang aming mariing pagtutol sa malaganap na pagpaslang, lalo na sa mga menor-de-edad at sa malawakang paglabag sa karapatan ng mamamayan na mapasailalim sa tamang proseso ng batas,” the petition read.

(We wish to convey to all those who value and promote the rights of the people our strong opposition to the widespread killings, especially of minors, and the widespread violation of the people’s right to due process of the law).

Nais naming makiisa at suportahan ang mga magulang, kapatid, asawa at kaibigan ng mga pinaslang at iba pang biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa kanilang paghahanap ng hustisya,” it also said.

(We express solidarity and support for the parents, siblings, spouses and friends of the slain and the other victims of human rights violations in their search for justice.)

Tahasan na nilalapastangan ng mga pulis na nag-ooperasyon sa mga komunidad na tinukoy nilang lungga ng mga adik at pusher na komunidad din ng mga mahihirap ang karapatan ng bawat tao sa buhay at karapatang mabuhay na nakasaad sa ating Saligang Batas,” it added.

(Police who operate in the communities they say are dens of addicts and pushers, which are also the communities of the poor, brazenly trample on the rights to life enshrined in our Constitution.)

The petition stressed that the killings deprived suspects of the chance to reform and also referred to reports of allegedly wrongful arrests and searches, including of innocent people, often on the basis of “planted” evidence.

While most surveys indicate that most Filipinos continue to approve of the war on drugs, a recent Social Weather Stations survey also showed growing public skepticism over police claims that slain suspects fought back, or “nanlaban.”

SWS: ‘Nanlaban?’ Public skepticism growing over police claims of self-defense

Earlier polls also showed most respondents voicing concern they or people close to them could end up victims of the extrajudicial killings they believe happen routinely in the course of the war on drugs.

Survey showing 73% of Pinoys believe EJKs happen in Duterte drug war a rejection of ‘nanlaban’ claim – lawmakers

Karapatan said the political prisoners are also demanding that President Rodrigo Duterte and the police be held “accountable to the scores of urban poor communities brutalized by this campaign,” in which “innocence or guilt seem to be inconsequential” and “due process is immaterial.”

“The Duterte regime’s war on drugs is ineffective, and whatever efforts the government makes to rebrand this campaign, it can never erase the thousands of poor Filipinos it has left lying dead on dark alleyways, nor can it silence the cry for justice from the victims’ kin,” it quoted them as saying.