Youth group Anakbayan today condemned the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for approving the ‘mandatory’ drug testing policy for admission in universities and colleges, saying this only makes students targets of the Duterte administration’s bloody Oplan Tokhang.

“Duterte’s brutal war on drugs has resulted in the killings of thousands from police operations and gangland-style summary executions. Forced drug testing in schools only widens the targets of this murderous campaign,” said Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

Far from combating the use of illegal drugs, the youth leader said forced drug testing will only lead to the results being used to justify targeting of young students with grave infringement of civil liberties, arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, and even extrajudicial killings as is now commonplace especially in slum areas under Oplan Tokhang.

“Schools should be safe zones free from the indiscriminate violence of Duterte’s brutal anti-drug war. Save the youth and the children from Duterte’s bloodthirsty military and police forces. Stop mandatory drug testing in schools,” said Crisostomo.

The youth leader said this is not far from happening with Duterte’s brazen encouragement of police and military to carry out summary executions and indiscriminate killings of suspected drug addicts and small-time drug peddlers, which the president has judged to be subhumans deprived of basic rights.

“By bringing universities and colleges under the scope of Duterte’s drug war, CHED is accountable for subjecting young students to the killing spree of drug suspects that the president has brought upon the public,” said Crisostomo.

In just over a year, about 10,000 to 12,000 have been estimated to be killed in Duterte’s campaign against drugs, with the killings attributed both to official police operations as well as extrajudicial killings by death squads also suspected to be sponsored by the regime.

“Duterte is a mad man who believes an orgy of killings is the only solution to all the country’s problems. He is blind to the reality that the widespread drug problem is caused by unemployment, inhumane wages, extreme hunger, poverty, and lack of access to education and other social services that can only be addressed through radical socio-economic and political reforms,” said Crisostomo.

Anakbayan is calling on the Filipino youth and people to demand justice for all victims of grave abuses by Duterte’s police and military forces and to strongly oppose martial law and intensifying fascism under his regime. The youth group will hold nationwide protests on July 31.


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