On Extra Judicial Killings By UP SESC | August 20, 2017
The UP School of Economics Student Council strongly condemns the extrajudicial killings brought about by the drug war of the Duterte administration.
The inhumane results of the administration’s so-called war on drugs are becoming apparent now more than ever. Since the start of his term, President Duterte and his police forces have taken the lives of over 7,000 Filipinos.
Last Thursday night, 17th August 2017, Kian Loyd Delos Santos was shot by Philippine National Police (PNP) officers who claimed that the 17-year-old drew a gun on them during Oplan Galugad operations held in Caloocan city. However, upon further investigation based on CCTV footage, he was already held in custody by these police officers when they shot him. Moreover, 80 other drug suspects have died from multiple drug war operations held by the PNP in Bulacan, Caloocan, and Manila over the past few days. Such disregard for human life has no place in our society and worse, it is those who have sworn to serve and protect the Filipino people that are responsible for these killings.
In addition to this, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee held an investigation earlier this week on the Php 6.4 billion worth of drugs smuggled under the watch of the Bureau of Customs. Such an amount would cause any law-abiding government official to be alarmed. However, the President has turned a blind eye and kept a very subtle position over this issue. Moreover, allegations have been raised that President Duterte’s son, Davao city Mayor Paolo Duterte, along with numerous other high-ranking government officials, are involved in this issue. This has put the President and his administration in the spotlight. These events show that ironically, members of the government are also involved in our country’s drug issues, and frustratingly, they can get away with it. The UP SESC strongly condemns the corruption, impunity, and the double standards of the Duterte administration manifested in this particular drug issue.
The UP SESC urges the authorities to both uphold the law and respect every person’s right to due process. Anyone who is accused of crime must be given fair treatment until proven guilty, regardless of social class and position. Justice is for all, and not only for the rich and powerful. The Duterte administration’s ruthless actions towards the poor and blatant inaction towards those in power clearly show that this drug war is anti-poor.
We assert our stance that this war on drugs is not the solution to the drug problems of the country, and that any solution to be implemented by the government must not come at the cost of the lives of the Filipino people. Targeting the poor and turning a blind eye on the larger players of this issue will not lead to the goal of drug alleviation. The support of numerous government officials for the drug war of President Duterte and the disregard for human life and due process of the PNP will never be the answer to the drug problem in the country.
We call on the Congress to hold extensive hearings on the issue and adopt measures to prevent further killings. We call on the PNP to end their ruthless drug war. We also call on the Filipinos supporting the drug war to withhold their support, and campaign for a more rehabilitative and non-punitive approach on the drug problem.
We, the UP School of Economics Student Council, call for the different sectors of the Philippines to come together and call on the Philippine government to end extrajudicial killings and the drug war, and uphold justice for all people.