MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Leila de Lima yesterday asked President Duterte and the Philippine National Police (PNP) not to insult the intelligence of Filipinos and the international community on the issue of extrajudicial killings in the war against drugs.
“I say to you: stop insulting our intelligence, stop fooling our people and the rest of the world,” she said in a hand-written statement issued from her detention cell at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
De Lima said the truth has become the first major casualty in the campaign against illegal drugs, which has already claimed over 7,000 lives.
“In due time, your President and those who blindly enforce his illegal orders to kill, fabricate evidence and concoct lies will be held accountable,” she added.
Opposition Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros also criticized Duterte for saying “criminals have no humanity.”
Trillanes said the statement indicated that the President’s twisted definition proves that the extrajudicial killings are state sponsored as Pangilinan stressed that the Constitution provides every accused the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by the courts.
“President Duterte was elected as chief executive to run a country according to the basic tenets of human rights, he must do that toward all citizens without exception. He must understand that humanity and the right to human dignity is inviolable. This government must respect and safeguard the dignity of the human person; the right of each and everyone to human dignity is the basis of many inalienable rights and the foundation of freedom, justice and peace,” Hontiveros said.
The group Human Rights Watch accused Duterte Thursday of instigating and inciting the killings of mostly urban poor members in his war against drugs. It said this condition could be considered a crime against humanity.
“His first six months in office has been a human rights calamity for the Philippines,” the group said in the background portion of its 117-page report titled “License to Kill: Philippine Police Killings in Duterte’s War on Drugs.”
Hontiveros said the war against drugs is inhumane, abusive and corrupt and that it kills many innocent lives and leaves hundreds of orphans in its wake. – With Marvin Sy, Evelyn Macairan