Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has chided the Philippine National Police (PNP) for downplaying the records of killings and abuses committed under the Duterte administration’s so-called war on drugs as “rehashed” and “unfounded.”
De Lima, a known human rights defender, reminded the police force that the victims of the senseless killings in the country are real people whose lives were unjustly cut short without each of them having the chance to defend one’s self in proper court.
“EJKs are not mere product of imagination, and more so, the stories of the victims of these mass atrocities are not rehashed narratives,” she said.
“People are getting killed arbitrarily and without due process, and they are not just statistics and fictional stories – lives were lost, dreams were shattered, and families are displaced because of the abuses perpetrated by state authorities,” she added.
De Lima made the remark after PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac claimed that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is being fed with “rehashed narratives” of abuses by law enforcers as it proceeds with its preliminary examination on the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Banac insisted that “the rehashed narratives of alleged abuses remain to be unfounded and devoid of truth from the beginning.”
Note that authorities have repeatedly claimed that around 6,600 have been killed in legitimate police operations, but around 27,000 unexplained deaths have been simply categorized by the government as “homicide under investigation.”
In her 77-page report that included the Philippine case, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she had looked into communications and information from various sources that Duterte and other State officials “actively promoted and encouraged the killing of suspected or purported drug users and/or dealers.”
The lady Senator from Bicol said that instead of turning a blind eye to the killings and abuses happening in the country, the Filipino people should even intensify their call for justice for all the victims of EJKs.
“Walang dapat ipagkibit-balikat dito. Libo-libong mga maralitang Pilipino na pinaslang nang walang kalaban-laban at mga inosenteng bata na pinagkaitan ng kinabukasan ang pinag-uusapan dito,” she said.
“Hangga’t may mga nasasayang na buhay at mga niyurakang karapatan dahil sa palpak na War on Drugs ng rehimeng Duterte, hindi tayo dapat manahimik at mapagod na isalaysay sa buong mundo ang naratibo ng mga biktima at pagdurusa ng kanilang pamilya,” she added.
The staunchest critic of Duterte’s drug war, De Lima is unjustly and illegally detained based on trumped-up illegal drug charges fabricated by the administration using perjured and coerced witnesses. (30)