Amnesty International Says Drug Related Killings in The Philippines are “Systematic, Planned and Organized” by Authorities — Could constitute crimes against humanity

Reuters

A wave of drugs-related killings in the Philippines appears to be “systematic, planned and organized” by authorities and could constitute crimes against humanity, according to an Amnesty International report released on Wednesday.

Amnesty said its investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs was based on 59 drug-related killings in 20 cities and towns. The agency said it concluded most appeared to be extra-judicial killings, and police accounts of shootouts and deaths during operations were “startlingly similar,” and often far different to witness testimony.

The release of the report comes amid uncertainty over the anti-drugs crackdown and a government suspension on Monday of all police operations due to rampant corruption. The Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has now been given the lead role in the campaign.

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Duterte made the decision after a security meeting on Sunday triggered by the kidnap and killing of a South Korean businessman by drugs squad police. He said the incident, which took place at the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP), had embarrassed the country and dented the image of the police.

Amnesty said the vast majority of the killings it investigated “appear to have been extra-judicial killings – unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by government order or with its complicity or acquiescence.”

“The Duterte administration’s relentless pressure on the police to deliver results in anti-drug operations has helped encourage these abusive practices,” the report said.

The Presidential Communications Office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Amnesty’s findings.

The government has denied sponsoring extra-judicial killings, or police collaboration with assassins.

The investigation by the London-based advocacy group was carried out mainly in November and December and was completed in January. It said it interviewed 110 people and included witness accounts of victims being shot dead despite having shouted they would surrender.

It said it also found “strong evidence” of links between the authorities and unknown gunmen, as well as connections between cursory and speculative drugs “watch lists” created by local officials, and the people killed by police.

body of a Filipino man, who was killed in a reported police illegal drugs raid, is carried away

Photo: A child cries after seeing her father killed in the Philippines. Image copyright EPA

Amnesty’s report included numerous references to a series of Reuters stories and investigations into the war on drugs in the Philippines.

The latest police data shows 7,669 people have been killed since Duterte unleashed his war on drugs seven months ago, 2,555 in police operations, which the PNP says were all in self-defense. The other deaths are classified as investigated, or under investigation.

Human rights groups believe most of those are drugs-related, carried out by vigilantes or hit men.

Philippines Duterte drugs

Funeral parlour workers carry the body of a member of a suspected drug syndicate killed after a shootout with police in Manila. Ted Aljibe/AFP

Amnesty’s top recommendation to Duterte was to “immediately order an end to all police operations involving unnecessary or excessive use of force,” especially lethal force.

It said police should suspend officers suspected of unlawful killings, planting evidence or involvement with hit men, and thoroughly investigate paid killings.

It recommended Duterte appoint a new independent head of police internal affairs and the justice ministry prevent intimidation of witnesses and victims and set up a task force to prosecute extrajudicial killings.

“The Philippine government needs to urgently adopt a different approach to drugs and criminality,” it said.

“The impunity that currently reigns has facilitated killing on a massive scale, hitting the poorest and most marginalized segments of the population in particular.”

Related:

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

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Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

 (December 23, 2016)

Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl looks like it has been put out with the trash…..
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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

Philippines — Emotional Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa cries over erring cops, November 23, 2016. Phil Star photo

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

 

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

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One Response to “Amnesty International Says Drug Related Killings in The Philippines are “Systematic, Planned and Organized” by Authorities — Could constitute crimes against humanity”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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