The youth group Anakbayan today declared August 11, Thursday, a “Day of Action” against the spate of extrajudicial killings that has been spawned in the wake of the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs.

“We call on everyone to join our day of action this August 11 to strongly register our call to stop the killings. While the campaign against dangerous drugs is laudable, we express grave concern over the way this has been carried out so far,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

“The president’s ‘I really do not care’ attitude on the rising death toll of his administration’s campaign against drugs is very alarming. Even crime suspects have human rights. Their right to life and due process must be respected,” he said.

The youth leader said a fearsome scenario has emerged wherein those who hold the gun are both the accusers and executioners. “While criminals must indeed be punished, the innocence or guilt of those accused cannot anymore be determined if they are just shot on sight,” said Crisostomo.

“What is even more problematic is the double standard in the way suspected petty criminals, mostly from slums, become the victims of gangland-style killings while those with money, power, and influence are seemingly exempt from the killing spree and leniently given deadlines by the police for their surrender,” he said.

The youth group said the extrajudicial killings may prove detrimental to the anti-drug drive as drug lords and corrupt officials scramble to silence drug dealers in the lower rungs of syndicates to cover their tracks.

“We are expressing alarm over Duterte’s promises of pardon and promotion for law enforcers in legal trouble. This is extremely dangerous and will only encourage killings, abuse, and a culture of impunity in the PNP and the AFP which are institutions with long histories of rights violations,” said Crisostomo.

He said that indiscriminate killings will not end the illegal drug trade because this is only a symptom of deeper social problems like rising poverty, joblessness, extreme hunger, injustice, and inequality which push people to the underworld economy out of desperation.

The youth group said the war on drugs is bound to fail if not accompanied by deeper social change involving genuine land reform, the creation of jobs through the building of national industries, and massive social welfare for the affordable rehabilitation of parts of the population victimized by the drug menace.



One Response to NEWS: August 11 is Day of Action against Extrajudicial Killings – Anakbayan

  1. […] Here is an excerpt of an August statement by the Philippine student group Anakbayan condemning President Duterte’s s… […]

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