Amnesty International calls for stronger measures vs Duterte gov’t

drug war
Protesters hold anti extra-judicial killing banners during the funeral march for 17-year-old student Kian Delos Santos, who was killed allegedly by police officers during an anti-drug raid, in Manila on August 26, 2017.
Thousands of Filipinos called for an end to extrajudicial killings as the funeral of a boy killed by police turned into the largest single demonstration yet against President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS

HUMAN RIGHTS organization Amnesty International pushed for action from global agencies to prevent further extra-judicial killings allegedly carried out under President Rodrigo R. Duterte’sdrug war.

In its latest human rights report, the United kingdom-based organization called for stronger measures from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and International Criminal Court to end human rights violationsin the Philippines and “provide reparations for thousands of families of victims, and hold those responsible to account.”

“It’s obvious the Duterte administration has no intention of delivering justice to thousands of bereaved families, all while the President repeatedly incites violence and promises to protect perpetrators,” Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International’s Philippine researcher, said in a statement.

The report noted that human rights violations continue even during the coronavirus pandemic, including attacks on the media and activists.

Amnesty International further said the current administration cannot investigate itself for the abuses it incited.

“All we know of this panel is it will include the very same agencies responsible for the killings, the attacks, and the harassment which they are supposed to investigate. This is a clear example of being both judge and party,” Ms. Howard said, referring to an inter-agency investigation team established by the government.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Gueverra, in a meeting with UNHRC in July this year, said the inter-agency panel will review more than 5,600 cases of killings during police-led operations.

Amnesty International said the timing and circumstances of such an announcement was designed to shield the government from scrutiny.

“It now falls to the Human Rights Council to mandate a strong, independent investigative body – all while honouring the High Commissioner’s repeated calls to continue monitoring the Philippines’ human rights crisis,” Ms. Howard said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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