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PHILIPPINES: 8,000 killings proof of policy to kill
rights, freedoms and repression |
Sunday September 10, 2017 13:43 by AKBAYAN (Citizens Action Party)
Akbayan Partylist condemns President Rodrigo Duterte’s denial of his policy to kill under the War on Drugs.
Duterte, in a press conference on September 5, attacked Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros after her call-out against PNP’s policy to kill under his War on Drugs. Duterte said: “Does the killing of two people make a policy? Ang bobo naman niyan”.
“President Duterte, the killings have reached 8,000 under your regime. This proves your policy to kill is real,” Akbayan President Machris Cabreros said.
“President Duterte’s orders to kill are undeniable as he has made this public in many occasions even in front of the Chief PNP. The attempt of denying is futile. He’s basically lying through his teeth,” Akbayan President Machris Cabreros said.
Cabreros said that Duterte’s policy to kill has already corrupted the police force, using his War on Drugs to kill, threaten or extort people.
“President Duterte even admitted this when he called the police force ‘corrupt to the core’ after the death of foreigner Jee Ick Joo under Bato’s watch. The list of victims pile up and it all points to Duterte’s policy to kill.”
Cabreros said that even before the Senate can close the probe of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos’ slay, PNP has taken another victim with UP freshman Carl Angelo Arnaiz who was reportedly tortured and accused of possessing illegal drugs on August 18.
“PNP’s policy to kill is now targeting the young and the poor,” Cabreros added. “Instead of fighting criminals, it seems that our police have joined their ranks and are out murdering our children.”
Akbayan dares President Duterte to heed the call of human rights groups to cease all statements encouraging the policy to kill in police operations. Oplan Double Barrel and all operations using excessive force should be suspended until human rights abuses are answered to. PNP should open up for independent investigations on reports of paid killings.
Among those in attendance were Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Martin Schulz, SPD Germany candidate for Chancellorship, Prime Minister Antonio Costa of Portugal, Christian Kern, Chancellor of Austria, Maria Joao Rodrigues, Vice Chair of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, among others.
140 political parties and heads of government call out Duterte administration for deaths and violence in the Philippines
An international grouping of progressive and left-wing political parties, with some Prime Ministers and Presidents expressed alarm over what it called the rising tide of violence and death in the Philippines.
The Progressive Alliance, an association of social democratic, socialist and labour parties, in a statement approved during its Convention in Berlin, Germany, “reiterates its concern over the escalating situation in the Philippines,” which it said “threatens to erode its decades-long struggle for democracy and human rights.”
Among those in attendance were Swedish Prime Minster Stefan Lofven, Martin Schulz, SPD Germany candidate for Chancellorship, Prime Minster Antonio Costa of Portugal, Christian Kern, Chancellor of Austria, the Maria Joao Rodrigues, Vice Chair of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, among others.
The statement, approved by a gathering of 140 representatives of major leftist political parties, including some heads of governments and members of parliament in attendance, said that “the government's current anti-drugs campaign manifests as a violent witch hunt that primarily victimizes poor people unable to afford legal defense,” and that the Philippines under President Duterte seems “intent on going down a path of death and violence” because of the priority legislation reimposing the death penalty and lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 9 from the current 15.
The PA called on the Duterte administration to abandon these measures as it called out President Duterte’s “inflammatory language and pronouncements that explicitly condone the killing of suspected drug users, and branding those who oppose his campaign as protectors of drug trade lords and coddlers.”
The PA also dared President Duterte to “desist from baiting the public with dictatorship and Martial Law as solutions to the country's problems,” according to its statement.
The group, which includes social democratic parties from Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway, as well as Denmark and Germany, the Workers’ Party in Brazil and Akbayan party-list in the Philippines called on the global community “to pay closer attention to the developments in the fragile and contested democracy that is the Philippines.”
They said that “the United Nations, in the absence of tangible, decisive action on the part of (Philippine) authorities to desist from these anti-democratic practices, should investigate the situation and forward recommendations how the international community can help (Filipino) citizens.”
FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
Progressive Alliance condemns continuing massive violence and deaths in Philippines
The Progressive Alliance, an association of social democratic, socialist and labour parties, political organisations and networks all over the world, reiterates its concern over the escalating situation in the Philippines which threatens to erode its decades-long struggle for democracy and human rights.
First, the extra judicial killings resulting from a government campaign targeting people for their supposed links to drugs, is shredding the country's adherence to the presumption of innocence and equal protection of the law. The government's current anti-drugs campaign manifests as a violent witch hunt that primarily victimizes poor people unable to afford legal defense. More than 8,000 bodies, often wrapped in packaging tape, have littered Manila's streets in vigilante-style killings which remain unresolved to this day.
We also view with concern the Duterte administration's latest response to opposition against these killings such as incarcerating Senator Leila de Lima and announcing its openness to restore Martial Law. Women leaders of the opposition like Leila de Lima, Leni Robredo and Risa Hontiveros have been subjected to well-orchestrated online campaigns of harassment, bullying, and misogynistic attacks.
The Philippine government has been intent on going down a path of death and violence with its priority legislative measures. The House of Representatives recently passed the bill to reinstate the death penalty. It also seeks to pass the proposal to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from the current 15 to a scandalous 9 years old. Both measures are backward, barbaric, cruel and violent -- they should not be accepted in societies today.
The Progressive Alliance therefore once again calls on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration, to:
1) Abandon the legislative measures reinstating the death penalty and lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility, in the spirit of its commitments to various human rights instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention against Torture and Others Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment, Convention on the Rights of the Child, among others; and join the rest of civilized society in advancing humane reforms that strengthen the criminal justice system, nurture and protect mothers and children, and do not equate vengeance with justice.
2) Desist from inflammatory language and pronouncements that explicitly condone the killing of suspected drug users and pushers and other perpetrators of petty crimes, and branding those who oppose his campaign as protectors of drug trade lords and coddlers; as well as desist from baiting the public with dictatorship and Martial Law as solutions to the country's political, economic and societal problems;
3) Craft and implement humane and preventive public health and harm reduction policies based on actual evidence, and work with various stakeholders as a strategic solution as a means to combat the problem of drugs in the Philippines;
4) Act swiftly and conduct a thorough, fair and transparent investigation into the cases of extra judicial killings and bring the perpetrators of these killings to justice; including reparations and indemnification to the victims of these extra judicial killings towards justice for a campaign that has only claimed the lives of the poor, and not necessarily the guilty.
The Progressive Alliance, which counts among its members Labor and Social Democratic parties from Germany (SPD), Sweden (SAP), Italy, Denmark, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, among others will exert all efforts to support the Filipinos in their struggle for a just, humane society that is free from injustice and inequality.
The Progressive Alliance also calls on the global community to pay closer attention to the developments in the fragile and contested democracy that is the Philippines. We believe the United Nations, in the absence of tangible, decisive action on the part of its national authorities to desist from these anti-democratic practices, should investigate the situation in the Philippines and forward recommendations how the international community can help its citizens.
The Progressive Alliance, in solidarity with the Filipino people, remains steadfast that the dark days of fear, intimidation, violence and death will be defeated by the vigilance and commitment of active citizens.
Progressive Alliance members concurring (84 parties from 72 countries and 10 international organizations):
Socialist Party (Argentina) Gen Party (Argentina) Labour Party (Australia) SPO (Austria) Waad (Bahrain) Socialist Party - PS (Belgium) Socialist Party – S.PA (Belgium) Socialist Democratic Party (Bosnia-Herzegovina) Workers’ Party – PT (Brazil) Socialist Party (Bulgaria) MPP (Burkina Faso) Social Democratic Front (Cameroon) New Democratic Party (Canada) MLPC (Central African Republic) Socialist Party (Chile) Party for Democracy (Chile) Citizens’ Action Party (Costa Rica) Social Democratic Party (Croatia) CSSD (Czech Republic) Social Democratic Party (Denmark) Modern Revolutionary Party (Dominican Republic) UDPS (Congo) ESDP (Egypt) CPDS (Equatorial Guinea) EPDP (Eritrea) Finnish Social Democratic Party – SDP (Finland) Socialist Party (France) Dream Party (Georgia) NDC (Ghana) Social Democratic Party of Germany –SPD (Germany) Labour Party (Great Britain) PASOK (Greece) MSzP (Hungary) Indian National Congress (India) PDI-Perjuangan (Indonesia) Nasdem (Indonesia) PDKI (Iran) KPIK (Iran) PUK (Iraq) Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party – KSDP (Iraq) Labour Party (Ireland) Labour Party (Israel) Meretz Party (Israel) Democratic Party (Italy) CUDD (Ivory Coast) JSDP (Jordan) SDPS (Latvia) PSP (Lebanon) Democratic Action Party – DAP (Malaysia) Mauritius Militant Movement (Mauritius) PRD (Mexico) MC (Mexico) DPM (Moldova) SDP (Montenegro) DPS (Montenegro) USFP (Morocco) NCP (Nepal) Labour Party PVdA (Netherlands) MRS (Nicaragua) Labour Party (Norway) Fatah (Palestine) PNI (Palestine) PPS (Paraguay) AKBAYAN (Philippines) Democratic Left Alliance (Poland) Socialist Party (Portugal) Citizens’ Convergence (Rep. of Congo) Socialist Party (Senegal) Democratic Party (Serbia) SDS (Serbia) Social Democrats (Slovenia) SSUP (Somalia) Socialist Workers’ Party PSOE (Spain) Social Democratic Party – SAP (Sweden) Social Democratic Party (Switzerland) Democratic People’s Party (Syria) CCM (Tanzania) Ettakatol (Tunisia) CHP (Turkey) HDP (Turkey) PSU (Uruguay) Democratic Party (USA) Frente Polisario (Western Sahara) Yemeni Socialist Party (Yemen) International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) Network of Social Democracy in Asia (SOCDEM Asia) Arab Social Democratic Forum (ASDF) Central African Progressive Alliance (APAC) Party of European Socialists (PES) Solidar Global Progressive Forum (GPF) Foundation for Progressive European Studies (FPES) Association for Democratic Socialism (ADS)