July 25, 2016
Reference: Fidel Fababier, Vice Chairperson – KILUSAN
Respect the People’s Democratic Rights, Uphold Due Process and the Rule of Law
Manila— “The change we want is an administration that promotes, respects and upholds the democratic rights of the people, unfortunately the current remedy for drugs and crime will do more harm than good in the long run with its disregard for due process and rule of law.”
This was according to Fidel Fababier, Vice Chairperson of KILUSAN PARA SA PAMBANSANG DEMOKRASYA (KILUSAN) referring to the adverse impact of implementing OPERATION TOKHANG (Tok-tok-Hangyo) in communities across the country whose death toll is already more than 500 where 65 percent died allegedly legitimate police operations, a quarter of the deaths attributed to unknown gunmen and the rest are ‘salvage victims’.
Members of KILUSAN marched from UST to Mendiola with ‘karton’ placards, a nod to the perception that what the ‘karton’ says is believed, containing demands from various sectors.
“Emboldened by President Duterte’s open endorsement of killing those involved in the illegal drug trade, the national police has seemingly forgotten that all citizens are innocent until proven otherwise, evidence and investigation is necessary to build a case and that each offense has varying levels of punishment,” pointed out Fababier.
“The public is made to believe that what is written in the cardboard hanging on these dead bodies is fact, to be accepted unconditionally,” adds Fababier.
According to KILUSAN, more than 60 thousand have may have surrendered but it cannot be used to justify wholesale violation of human rights by security forces and even local government officials including torture, shaming, threats, abuse and disregard for due process and rule of law.
Fababier pointed out that the Department of Health recognizes drug dependents as victims and as such should be rehabilitated not deprived of life.
KILUSAN notes that the police force deputized to implement the so-called war against crime and drugs has among its ranks personnel linked to the illegal drug trade and are dealt with according to the law, in stark contrast to those summarily executed — accused, judged and punished in one action. Other countries like Thailand who have implemented similar campaigns against drugs are rethinking the effectivity of such methods.
“Is this how the government plans to endear itself to the Filipino people—sowing fear and violating the rights of citizens? “lamented Fababier.
“These actions may encourage vigilantes to target people wholly unrelated to the illegal drug trade like Gloria Capitan of Bataan who was killed on the first day President Duterte assumed office. She was killed because she was standing up for the right of her community to clean air, a healthy environment being polluted by an open coal storage facility in her barangay and two coal plants in her hometown,” warned Fababier. ####
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