Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

Philippines: Senate majority signs resolution hitting police drug killings — Is Kian’s casket “Pandora’s Box” for Duterte and Dela Rosa?

August 20, 2017
The grandmother of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, Violeta, cries beside his casket yesterday in Caloocan City. Relatives and concerned neighbors of the teenager slain by police are calling for justice. MICHAEL VARCAS

MANILA, Philippines – Senators from the majority bloc signed last night a resolution condemning “the recent spate of abuses” by the police, including the killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, and moved to conduct an investigation into the incident that sparked outrage nationwide.

Following a three-hour closed-door caucus in Makati, 12 senators, including Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, signed the still unnumbered resolution that is expected to be passed in plenary tomorrow.

The document said the Senate will look into the accountability of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the campaign against illegal drugs “that may have resulted in unnecessary and unjustified deaths and/or killings.”

Apart from Pimentel, among those who signed the resolution were Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

State Sponsored Executions?

Lacson earlie said the Senate investigation into the surge of drug-related police killings would try to find out whether the summary executions were state-sponsored.

Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, issued the statement after over 80 people were killed in different areas of Metro Manila and Bulacan in the past five days reportedly as a consequence of the PNP’s “one-time, big time” anti-drug campaign.

“Why was there another (killing), what we may rightly or wrongly describe as a killing spree? Was there an order? Is there a pattern when the President warns (those involved in illegal drugs) and gives orders to the PNP?” Lacson said over dzBB.

While the Senate committee on justice last year found no evidence of state-sponsored extrajudicial killings, Lacson said the next legislative inquiry could review the panel’s report.

Lacson’s committee is likely to lead the investigation. Several lawmakers, including Senators Sonny Angara and Nancy Binay, pressed for a probe into the drug-related killings, including that of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos by policemen in Caloocan City last week.

Lacson said he heard that some police units were feeling the pressure to rack up “scores” in the anti-drug campaign or they might be sanctioned.

He said President Duterte’s repeated assurance that he will pardon police officers convicted of killing drug pushers may have also prompted some of the summary executions.

Lacson said the committee would be objective and careful in its probe, as the implications of state-sponsored summary executions were a serious issue.

“We will draw the battle lines. The Senate as an institution, if it finds that these are state-sponsored, will we still support the President? That’s why we’ll be thorough and the evidence must be foolproof. Anyway this is still all hypothetical,” he added.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a critic of Duterte, welcomed the inquiry but lamented that some senators as well as supporters of the President were “playing blind.”

“If they were not state-sponsored, why have thousands been killed all over the country since Duterte took over?” Trillanes asked.

He said several whistleblowers earlier testified in the Senate that it was the President’s modus operandi to make it appear the victims fought back when he was still mayor of Davao City.

Sense of the Senate

Pimentel, who called for the caucus last night, said the chamber might pass tomorrow a resolution expressing the “sense of the Senate” on the killings.

He told reporters yesterday that the resolution was “95 percent done.”

On the other hand, Vice President Leni Robredo called for an independent probe into the killing of Delos Santos by the Caloocan City police.

Robredo said an independent investigation must be conducted on the incident, as the barangay security video and accounts from neighbors seemingly contradict the claims of the police.

“What we want is to have an independent investigation to give Kian’s parents closure on what really happened to their son,” she said.

In a separate statement, Robredo’s legal adviser Barry Gutierrez said the Vice President wants an “impartial, non-political body” to conduct the inquiry on Delos Santos’ killing.

“While the Senate is of course free to exercise its mandate to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation anytime, there are advantages to an investigation conducted outside of the glare of the Senate spotlight,” he said.

Lacson and several senators, however, said nothing may come out from an independent body investigating the drug killings.

“Who’s going to appoint the members of the independent commission? The President. The suggestion is sound but the timing is off,” Lacson said.

Trillanes also believed that forming an independent commission was not going to lead to the truth.

“The President will form and fund the independent commission that will issue subpoenas, so he won’t do that because the investigation might lead to his insides,” he said.

Trillanes said the only independent body that could conduct such a probe would be the Senate.

Trillanes,however, reiterated that Sen. Richard Gordon should not lead the inquiry.

Pimentel earlier said there was no clamor in the majority bloc to remove Gordon as chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

Congressmen, for their part, wanted to go after the policemen involved in the killing of Delos Santos and other summary killings.

“We should punish those responsible for what happened to Kian and all the other alleged summary killings if there are, and the victims of accidental shooting or abuse, “ Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles said.

Nograles said it would be unfair to slash the proposed 2018 budget of the Philippine National Police only because there are few rotten eggs in the institution.

“The worst thing that can happen is of course, more of illegal drugs. But that’s not to say we do not give justice to the victims of police abuses,” he said.

Brotherly advice

Lacson, former PNP chief, advised policemen to be more circumspect while pursuing President Duterte’s flagship campaign against illegal drugs.

“They must be discerning. They should not think of their careers under this administration. They should also think of securing the future of their families beyond this administration,” Lacson said.

“They will answer for their misdeeds – if any – committed today in the future,” he said.

“Your career is only until you retire, but your character goes beyond your retirement. It’s there even after death, so that’s more important.”

He said the PNP leadership should not be reckless nor succumb to pressure of producing results in the war on drugs, or be overeager in the campaign.

“It should not be like just anyone will be picked up, killed and planted with a gun or a sachet of shabu, and you say it’s done, we’ve done our job,” Lacson said.

During the 14 months President Duterte has been in power, police have confirmed killing more than 3,500 people – insisting the suspects had resisted arrest or “nanlaban” in police jargon.

More than 2,000 other people have been killed in drug-related crimes and thousands more murdered in unexplained circumstances, according to police that they classified as “deaths under investigation.”

The numbers saw a sudden increase this week, with Duterte praising the police officers that shot dead 32 people in Bulacan as he urged for more.

Following Duterte’s call, at least 44 people were killed in various cities, including Delos Santos whose death sparked a national furor.

The Department of Education (DeEd) condemned the killing of Delos Santos, a Grade 11 pupil of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Valenzuela City.

“The Department denounces all forms of violence against our students, teachers and personnel,” DepEd said.

In a statement, the DepEd said they support the call for an impartial investigation into the killing of Delos Santos by the Caloocan Police.

“We also support President Duterte’s directive to uphold the rule of law, and to put to jail those who will be found responsible for the student’s death,” it said.

On the other hand, a group of overseas Filipino workers has joined the growing call for an immediate stop to the anti-drug war.

Migrante International also expressed support to the family of Delos Santos in their quest for justice. The victim was the son of a Filipino worker in Kuwait.

“The killings must stop. Heads must roll. Kian’s life is blood on Duterte’s hands. All those who committed, operated and tolerated the spate of killings are complicit and should be held accountable by the Filipino people,” Migrante said. – With Helen Flores, Delon Porcalla, Mayen Jaymalin, Rainier Allan Ronda

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/21/1731166/senate-majority-signs-resolution-hitting-police-drug-killings

Vietnam’s President Calls for Tougher Internet Controls — “Going Chinese”

August 20, 2017

HANOI — Vietnam’s president called on Sunday for tougher controls on the internet in the face of dissidents who are using it to criticize the ruling Communist Party, and to combat threats to cybersecurity.

Vietnam’s government has stepped up a crackdown on activists this year, but despite the arrest and sentencing of several high profile figures, there has been little sign of it silencing criticism on social media.

President Tran Dai Quang made the call in an article published on the government website.

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He said hostile forces had used the internet to organize offensive campaigns that “undermined the prestige of the leaders of the party and the state, with a negative impact on cadres, party members and people”.

Quang said Vietnam needed to pay greater attention to controlling online information, especially on social networks, and needed an effective solution “to prevent news sites and blogs with bad and dangerous content”.

Quang’s own standing had been the subject of internet rumor and gossip in recent days because he has been largely absent from the public eye.

Vietnam has intensified crackdowns on both government critics and officials accused of corruption since security-minded conservatives gained greater sway within the Communist Party early last year.

Vietnam is in the top 10 countries for Facebook users by numbers and Google’s YouTube is also a popular platform.

Quang also highlighted threats to cybersecurity, saying Vietnam was under increasing attack by criminals seeking information and state secrets, and attempting to carry out acts of sabotage.

Thousands of computers in Vietnam were affected by the WannaCry virus in May.

In a report three months ago, security company FireEye said hackers working on behalf of the Vietnamese government had broken into the computers of multinationals in the country. Vietnam forcefully rejected the accusation.

(Reporting by Mi Nguyen; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; editing by David Stamp)

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Thousands take to the streets in Hong Kong to rally behind jailed activists

August 20, 2017

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Hong Kong — Demonstrators march in protest of the jailing of student leaders Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, who were imprisoned for their participation of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, also known as “Occupy Central” protests, in Hong Kong China August 20, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu REUTERS

By Venus Wu
Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to protest against the jailing of three young democracy activists, with many questioning the independence of the Chinese-ruled city’s judiciary.

On Thursday, Joshua Wong, 20, Nathan Law, 24 and Alex Chow, 27, were jailed for six to eight months for unlawful assembly, dealing a blow to the youth-led push for universal suffrage and prompting accusations of political interference.

Thousands of people marched in sweltering temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86°F) to the Court of Final Appeal, carrying placards and banners denouncing the jailing of the activists.

Former student leader Lester Shum, who helped organize Sunday’s rally, said the number of protesters was the highest since pro-democracy protests in 2014 that paralyzed parts of the financial hub for 79 days.

“This shows that the Hong Kong government, the Chinese Communist regime and the Department of Justice’s conspiracy to deter Hong Kong people from continuing to participate in politics and to protest using harsh laws and punishments has completely failed,” Shum said.

Protesters brandished a large banner saying: “It’s not a crime to fight against totalitarianism.” They shouted: “Release all political prisoners. Civil disobedience. We have no fear. We have no regrets.”

Ray Wong, 24, leader of pro-independence group Hong Kong Indigenous, said the issue is uniting government opponents.

“Since the Umbrella movement, the radical and milder forces walked their own path,” he said, referring to the 2014 democracy movement. “We’re now standing together. It is a good start.”

In Sunday’s protests, some signs said “Shame on Rimsky”, referring to Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen, who Reuters reported last week had overruled other legal officials who initially advised against pursuing jail terms for the three activists.

Wong and his colleagues triggered the 2014 mass street protests, which attracted hundreds of thousands at their peak, when they climbed into a courtyard fronting the city’s government headquarters.

They were sentenced last year to non-jail terms including community service for unlawful assembly, but the Department of Justice applied for a review, seeking imprisonment.

Demonstrators march in protest of the jailing of student leaders Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, who were imprisoned for their participation of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, also known as “Occupy Central” protests, in Hong Kong China August 20, 2017. Tyrone Siu

On Friday, Yuen denied any “political motive” in seeking jail for the trio.

The former British colony returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” agreement that ensured its freedoms, including a separate legal system. But Beijing has ultimate control and some Hong Kong people are concerned it is increasingly interfering to head off dissent.

The jail terms for Wong, Law and Chow disqualify them from running for the legislature for the next five years.

Lau Siu-lai, one of six legislators expelled from the city’s legislature this year over the manner in which she took her oath of office, said the sentences were unreasonably harsh.

“It appears to be political suppression to strip away young people’s right to stand in elections,” she said.

“I hope people will pay attention … We need to protect Hong Kong’s’ rule of law.”

Another protester carried a placard of Lady Justice with a red blindfold.

“Hong Kong’s Lady Justice and the rule of law… are now being controlled by communists, and are now being twisted and she is now blind,” said 50-year-old artist Kacey Wong.

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  protesters hit out at Justice Sec. Rimsky Yuen, rumoured to have ordered sentence review for jailed activists.

Britain said it hoped the sentencing would not discourage “legitimate protest” in future.

While the decision to impose tougher sentences on the activists attracted widespread criticism in Hong Kong and overseas, the Hong Kong Bar Association and Law Society defended the court’s decision.

“Unfounded comments that judicial decisions were made or influenced by political considerations originating outside Hong Kong are unjustified and damaging to our legal system, and to Hong Kong as a whole,” they said in a joint statement on Friday.

Additional reporting by James Pomfret; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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Marco Rubio and Nancy Pelosi condemned the judgement.

But Beijing defended the sentences. “Hong Kong people are fully entitled to rights and freedoms. But no one can use the excuse of so-called democracy and freedom to conduct illegal violent activities,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday.

Judge Wally Yeung said in sentencing that there had been an “unhealthy trend” of people in Hong Kong breaking the law for the sake of their ideals and having what he described as “arrogant and self-righteous ideas”.

The justice ministry, which brought the re-sentencing bid, said the judgement could “provide guidance to future cases of similar nature”, but insisted there was no political motive, according to an Agence France-Presse report.

Hong Kong’s No 2 official on Saturday (Aug 19) launched a strong defence of the city’s courts in jailing young pro-democracy activists, hitting out at “biased” reports by foreign media, and insisting the fallout would not harm the government’s efforts to reach out to alienated youth.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said judicial independence remained the cornerstone of the city’s success, reported South China Morning Post.

Although the sentencing reviews were lodged by the department of justice last year, Mrs Lam, who took office on July 1 this year, was destined to be affected by the “political bombs”, according to commentators.

Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy agreed that society is becoming polarised, making it harder for Lam to untie the knots.

“The ruling can work as a deterrent for outsiders of the democracy movements. But for the imprisoned student leaders and their teammates, their mistrust and [hate] for the government would only increase,” Choy told the Post.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/thousands-took-to-streets-in-hong-kong-to-rally-behind-jailed-activists

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Crowds rally in Hong Kong after activists jailed — Joshua Wong is in a high security prison

August 20, 2017

AFP

© AFP | The three activists were handed jail sentences for their role in 2014’s massive Umbrella Movement protests, which called for fully free leadership elections and were an unprecedented challenge to Beijing
HONG KONG (AFP) – Thousands of supporters of three jailed young democracy activists took to the streets in Hong Kong Sunday to protest their sentences.

Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, leaders of the 2014 Umbrella Movement rallies, were sentenced to six to eight months in jail Thursday for their role in a protest that sparked the months-long demonstrations calling for democratic reforms.

People took on the summer heat to stream from the eastern district of Wan Chai to the Court of Final appeal in the heart of Hong Kong Island, protesting the jail terms.

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Joshua Wong — File Photo

They held signs including: “Give back hope to my children” and “One prisoner of conscience is one too many” as they gathered in one of the biggest recent rallies the city has seen.

William Cheung, an engineer in his 40s, described the ruling as “the beginning of white terror” in Hong Kong.

“These young people are our hope for the future. We shouldn’t treat them like this,” Jackson Wai, a retired teacher in his 70s, told AFP as he teared up.

Rights groups and activists called the case against the trio “political persecution” and more evidence that an assertive Beijing is tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city.

The Beijing-backed Hong Kong government brought the case for harsher sentences against the three, saying previous non-custodial terms were too light and did not serve as a deterrent to activists undermining stability.

University student Ann Lee said the government’s efforts to overturn the previous sentences were “attempts to intimidate us from taking part in acts of resistance.”

Hong Kong enjoys freedoms unseen on the mainland after being handed back to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” deal, but there are growing fears Beijing is trampling the agreement.

– ‘Ashcan of history’ –

The three jailed protest leaders were found guilty last year on unlawful assembly charges for storming a fenced-off government forecourt known as “Civic Square” as part of a protest calling for fully free leadership elections in September 2014.

Wong and former legislator Law, who was disqualified from parliament last month following Beijing intervention, had expressed their intentions to run for office in future elections, but will be prevented from standing for five years because their jail terms exceeded three months.

Wally Yeung, one of the panel of three judges that handed down the jail terms, said in a written judgement there had been an “unhealthy trend” of people in Hong Kong breaking the law for the sake of their ideals and having what he described as “arrogant and self-righteous ideas”.

Former colonial governor Chris Patten slammed the government’s move to persecute the activists.

“The names of Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law will be remembered long after the names of those who have persecuted them have been forgotten and swept into the ashcan of history,” wrote Patten in a letter to the editor at the Financial Times Saturday.

Wong, 20, is currently held in a high security prison for young male offenders. Law and Chow are at a maximum security holding centre.

Anger Simmers in Philippines Over Duterte’s Drug War — Distortion of Law — Destruction of Human Rights and Human Lives — “Mass Murder” — More than 12,500 people dead

August 20, 2017

MANILA — Mourners at the funeral of a Philippine man who police shot dead protested his innocence on Sunday, the latest sign of rising anger over President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody campaign to stamp out drugs.

More than 12,500 people, many small-time drug users and dealers, have been killed since Duterte took office in June 2016. Police say about 3,500 of those killed were shot by officers in self-defense.

Human rights monitors believe many of the remaining two thirds were killed by assassins operating with police backing or by police disguised as vigilantes – a charge the police deny.

On Sunday, dozens of mourners wearing with white T-shirts with the slogan “Kill drugs, not people”, bore the coffin of Leover Miranda to his grave in a Manila cemetery.

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Miranda was killed this month in what police said was a drug sting operation but relatives say he was innocent.

“I want justice for my son,” Elvira Miranda, 69, told Reuters.

“I have no powerful friends, I do not know what to do, but I want the people behind this senseless killing punished.”

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Most people in the Philippines support the anti-drug campaign and Duterte remains a popular leader but questions have begun to be asked about the slaughter, with more than 90 people killed in a new surge of shootings in recent days.

The country’s two most influential Catholic bishops on Sunday spoke against the latest deaths, asking the faithful to pray for the victims.

“We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces … to stop wasting human lives,” said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila.

Another senior cleric, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, called for churches to ring their bells every evening at 8 p.m., to stir the consciences of the authorities.

“You shall not kill. That is a sin. That is against the law,” he said in a statement.

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Public anger rose last week when police killed a 17 year-old high-school student.

Television channels aired CCTV footage that showed Kian Loyd Delos Santos being carried by two men to a place where his body was later found, raising doubt about an official report that said he was shot because he fired at police.

Some civil society groups and left-wing activists have called for protests increasing anger with the police was evident in social media posts.

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Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said he has suspended the police chief in Caloocan City, where the boy was killed, pending an investigation. Three officers involved in the operation were earlier relieved of duties.

The justice department has also begun an investigation while senators will also summon police this week to explain the sudden rise in killings.

(Additional Reporting by Roland Ng; Writing by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Related:

Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image result for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine 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

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

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“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)

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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)

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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

Do Philippine Police Have a “Blank Check” From Congress To Kill People? — Who decides “suspicion of being a drug personality”? — “Senate will act on the deaths of minors in the war on drugs” in the future

August 20, 2017
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa answers questions from senators during a Senate hearing on drug killings in August 2016. GEREMY PINTOLO, file
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MANILA, Philippines — Congress should use budget hearings to have the Philippine National Police explain how it will use a proposed P900-million budget for Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded, the campaign against illegal drugs, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Sunday.

In a statement Sunday, Recto said that Congress needs to find out how the program will be implemented. “It should not write a blank check,” Recto, a member of the Senate majority bloc, said.
“PNP will also get a P20-billion increase in its budget next year, to P131.5 billion, from P111.8 billion this year. Para saan ba ang budget na ito? Ano ang mga targets na kakamtin?” he also said.
He said both the Senate and the House of Representatives should look into whether the budget is enough to curb crime like shootings by motorcycle gunmen, and whether the money should be spent on crime deterrence instead.
“Hindi ba mas mainam ang triple patrols kesa dun sa double barrel?” he said.
The statement comes after public outrage over the death of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos, who was shot by police in Caloocan City last Wednesday on suspicion of being a drug personality. Police said he resisted arrest but video of the incident belied police reports.

KIAN IS MY SON. Saldy delos Santos holds up his son's school ID, their only proper photo of Kian. Photo by Eloisa Lopez/Rappler

KIAN IS MY SON. Saldy delos Santos holds up his son’s school ID, their only proper photo of Kian. Photo by Eloisa Lopez/Rappler

Some supporters of the war on drugs insist that the shooting was justified and that he should not been out on the streets at night.
His death was just one of scores in so-called “One Time, Big Time” operations by the police last week.
“I expect that the review of the events on that fateful night in Caloocan which led to the death of a young man will be pursued in many fronts,” Recto said.
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A man cries after seeing the body of his relative, an alleged drug dealer killed during a police anti-drug operation, in Manila on August 17, 2017. — AFP

“Kian’s life was ended so dastardly that it has united the nation in anger and grief. This national pain can only be salved by the truth,” the senator said.
Recto said the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service should also justify its budget.
“The IAS is the tripwire of abuses and the whistleblower of bad deeds. Is it doing its job?” he said.
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A Filipino relative weeps near the body of a man who was killed following a police operation against illegal drug in Kaloocan City, north of Manila, Philippines, August 18.//EPA

The IAS decided in favor of Superintendent Marvin Marcos and other police officers charged with homicide over the death of Rolando Espinosa, mayor of Albuera town in Leyte. Espinosa died in government custody as police were implementing a search warrant in his cell at the Baybay jail in November 2016.
“We leave the matter to the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service to explain its decision,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in July when Marcos and 18 other police officers were reinstated.
Sen. Grace Poe, also a member of the Senate majority, also called for accountability over Kian’s death.
“Tama rin ang naging statements ng ating mga kasama sa Senado, kailangang malaman talaga natin ang tunay na nangyari bagamat may CCTV,” she said.
“Dapat maparusahan ang mga abusado dito. Nakikita naman natin, maraming nang-aabuso talaga sa programa na ito para pigilin ang paglaganap ng droga. Yung mga wala namang—yung mga inosente, maprotektahan,” she said.
The two senators’ statements are just the latest, with Sen. Nancy Binay — also from the majority bloc — saying Saturday that the Senate will act on the deaths of minors in the war on drugs.
“To the rogue cops, you will have your day in the Senate investigations, you will all be made accountable for murder,” she said.
Binay said that while she supports the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, “we need to stop the trade of illegal drugs at the source.” Both chambers of Congress have been holding hearings on P6.4-billion worth of shabu that slipped through Customs but was later seized at a Valenzuela City warehouse.
Nicanor Faeldon, Customs commissioner, has admitted that corruption still exists at the bureau.
“I also call on the leadership of the PNP to not turn a blind eye to these deaths; and investigate and arrest those responsible for the killings,” Sen. Binay said.
Members of the Senate minority bloc have also called on the Senate to come up with a common stand on the killings.
“We cannot tolerate the alarming police impunity in the country. We need to investigate these killings of alleged drug suspects including a Grade 11 student in police operations,” Sen. Franklin Drilon, minority leader, said.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, who once led the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, has yet to issue a statement as of this post.
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Seventeen-year-old student Kian Loyd delos Santos could have been a policeman, but the policemen who killed him made this dream impossible.

On Wednesday night, August 16, Kian was shot to death in what the police described as a shooting encounter in a dark alley near his house.

CCTV footage and witnesses, however, revealed that he was dragged from one alley to another, past a basketball court, and into a dead-end corner where he was asked to run with a gun – and when he did, was shot.

Kian died wearing a blue shirt and printed boxer shorts – his pantulog or sleepwear, his father said. His dead body was found in fetal position with a gun in his left hand. His father said in media interviews that this detail, alone, could attest to his son’s innocence, since the teenager was not left-handed.

Read the rest:

https://www.rappler.com/nation/179243-kian-loyd-delos-santos-profile

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Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image result for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine 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

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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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)

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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

German Critic of Turkey’s Erdogan Arrested in Spain

August 19, 2017

BERLIN — German-Turkish author Dogan Akhanli was arrested in Spain on Saturday after Turkey issued an Interpol warrant for the writer, a critic of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Der Spiegel magazine reported.

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DoganAkhanli

The arrest of the German national was part of a “targeted hunt against critics of the Turkish government living abroad in Europe,” Akhanli’s lawyer Ilias Uyar told the magazine.

Ties between Ankara and Berlin have been increasingly strained in the aftermath of last year’s failed coup in Turkey as Turkish authorities have sacked or suspended 150,000 people and detained more than 50,000, including other German nationals.

Spanish police arrested Akhanli on Saturday in the city of Granada, Der Spiegel reported. Any country can issue an Interpol “red notice”, but extradition by Spain would only follow if Ankara could convince Spanish courts it had a real case against him.

Akhanli, detained in the 1980s and 1990s in Turkey for opposition activities, including running a leftist newspaper, fled Turkey in 1991 and has lived and worked in the German city of Cologne since 1995.

On Friday, Erdogan urged the three million or so people of Turkish background living in Germany to “teach a lesson” to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in September’s general election by voting against her. That drew stinging rebukes from across the German political spectrum.

Calls to the German foreign ministry regarding the arrest of Akhanli were not immediately returned.

(Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Andrew Bolton)

Philippines: Deadliest week in drug war outrages Catholic bishops

August 19, 2017
 
Pablo David, bishop of Caloocan, is seen delivering a lecture in this CBCP News photo.

MANILA, Philippines — Catholic bishops expressed alarm over the recent spate of killings that included a 17-year-old boy.

The death of unarmed 11th grader Kian Lloyd delos Santos in the hands of cops was a highlight of the deadliest week to date in the bloody anti-narcotics campaign that started in June last year with the ascent of Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency.

The campaign left at least 81 people dead in a week, 32 of whom were shot dead in simultaneous police raids in Bulacan province on Tuesday, the deadliest day so far in the controversial drug war, where thousands have died.

ALSO READ: Death of boy, 17, jolts senators to speak against killings

Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos, Bulacan did not hesitate to call the incidents in his diocese “extrajudicial killings,” despite Duterte supporters’ rejection of the term.

“We are all concerned about the number of drug related killings in the province because they are mostly, if not all, extra judicial killings,” Oliveros said in a CBCP news report.

The prelate also questioned the motive of the police for the killings that all took in one day.

“We do not know the motivation of the police why they had to do the killings in one day, maybe to impress the president who wanted more,” he said.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan where Delos Santos was killed also lamented the tragedy, drawing comparisons with the abusive martial law regime of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and 1980s.

During Marcos’ time, “communist” was used as “label and justification” for abductions and killings. “Now, it’s ‘drug suspects.’ I don’t know of any law in any civilized society that says a person deserves to die because he or she is a “drug suspect,” David said.

Referring to the behavior and apparent abuses of cops, David suggested that anyone could be labeled a drug suspect on a whim.

“You might be surprised to find your name in the list one of these days. Anyone can be listed as a ‘drug suspect,” David said in the same CBCP report.

The Catholic Church in the Philippines has put up a quiet resistance to the prevailing narrative of the war on drugs, opening its doors to those on village-level drug watch lists, often the basis of police for new targets.

ALSO READ: The year of Duterte’s dystopian vision

Priests have also been offering their pastorial services to families—such as in buring the dead—whose loved ones died as “drug suspects.”

Police reports would often recount the killings in operations as the result of cops’ self-defense. Reports by eyewitness, the media and human rights organizations over the past months, however, found no proof of suspects supposedly fighting back in many such incidents. — Camille Diola

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/19/1730668/deadliest-week-drug-war-outrages-catholic-bishops

Drug ‘personalities’ die in Philippines’ Big Time show

August 18, 2017

AFP

MANILA: It’s just after midnight and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s One Time Big Time show is getting into full swing as police shoot dead another young “drug personality”.

The corpse is hauled out of one of Manila’s sprawling shantytowns, where so many people have been killed in Duterte’s drug war, and taken to a funeral parlour where other bullet-riddled bodies are lying on bare tables or a bloodied concrete floor.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Each of the dead men has a number in Roman numerals drawn in black pen above their bare feet to help the morticians keep track of the bodies that churn through each night. One of them is marked VI.

The scene on Friday morning offered a haunting vision realised for Duterte, whose campaign stump speech last year included advice to voters to set up funeral parlours because they would be guaranteed money-spinners when he was president.

“The funeral parlours will be packed … I’ll supply the dead bodies,” Duterte said at one rally in the northern Philippines, which attracted typical cheers from Filipinos fed up with crime and attracted by his man-of-the-people charisma.

Duterte easily won the election largely because of his law-and-order platform, which included a vow to eradicate all drugs in society within six months by waging an unprecedented crackdown in which tens of thousands of people would die.

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A man cries after seeing the body of his relative, an alleged drug dealer killed during a police anti-drug operation, in Manila on August 17, 2017. — AFP

During the 14 months Duterte has been in power, police have indeed confirmed killing more than 3,500 people officially termed “drug personalities”.

Unknown assailants have killed at least 2,000 others in drug-related crimes, according to police data, with rights groups attributing those and other unsolved murders to vigilante death squads or off-the-books police killings.

Until recently Duterte had been defiant in the face of criticism that, not only could his extraordinary campaign amount to a crime against humanity, it was bound to fail.

Duterte, 72, continues to insist his tactics are right – while balancing comments such as he would be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts with indignant denials that he had ever incited police to act outside the law.

But over the past week, Duterte has begun inserting into his near-daily speeches on the drug war that he is unlikely to achieve his goals by the time he has to stand down as president in 2022.

Duterte has partly blamed a corrupt police force for not being able to complete its mission.

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A Filipino relative weeps near the body of a man who was killed following a police operation against illegal drug in Kaloocan City, north of Manila, Philippines, August 18.//EPA

Fresh offensives

By coincidence or not, police in Manila and surrounding provinces this week launched fresh offensives which led to some of the deadliest days of the drug war.

Continuing a theme of creating jargon that appears to trivialise the killings, police named their raids One Time Big Time campaigns.

The name echoed a defunct television show that had been popular with the tens of millions of poor Filipinos. It had a segment called One Time Big Time in which lucky contestants could win huge amounts of cash.

In the first major One Time Big Time operation this week, police in Bulacan province neighbouring Manila reported killing 32 people on Monday night.

While human rights activists and other critics voiced outrage, Duterte quickly praised the police involved and urged more of the same.

“If we could kill another 32 every day, then maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” Duterte said on Wednesday.

Police reported killing another 25 people that evening, then overnight Thursday and into the early hours of Friday an AFP team witnessed nine other bullet-riddled corpses in funeral parlours, inside slums or on nearby roads.

On one isolated road, a young man without shoes lay with bullet wounds to his head and stomach as a few policemen stood guard before crime scene investigators arrived. A pistol lay just near one of his hands.

One of the policemen said the dead man was a known drug trafficker and they were forced to shoot him in self defence.

Like in the vast majority of the “drug personality” killings, there were no reports of police being wounded or injured.

The investigators stayed for less than 30 minutes before the body was taken away and a police vehicle drove over the scene.

Even if the investigators did find the police account not to be true, Duterte has repeatedly promised to pardon officers if they are found guilty of murder in prosecuting his drug war. — AFP

Beijing defends jailing of Hong Kong activists — Using “so-called democracy” to conduct “illegal violent activities” will not be tolerated

August 18, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Joshua Wong and two other young leaders of Hong Kong’s huge Umbrella Movement protests were sentenced to months in jail on Thursday for their role in the 2014 rallies
BEIJING (AFP) – China on Friday rejected international criticism of the jailing of three prominent Hong Kong activists, warning against using “so-called democracy” to conduct “illegal violent activities”.Joshua Wong and two other young leaders of Hong Kong’s huge Umbrella Movement protests were sentenced to months in jail on Thursday for their role in the 2014 rallies.

Supporters and rights group said the ruling by the Court of Appeal was more proof that Beijing is tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city and that rule of law is being compromised.

“Hong Kong people are fully entitled to rights and freedoms. But no one can use the excuse of so-called democracy and freedom to conduct illegal violent activities,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

“I want to reiterate that Hong Kong is a special administration of China… China is firmly opposed to any external forces interfering in Hong Kong affairs,” Hua said at a regular press briefing.

Britain, Hong Kong’s former colonial ruler, said it hoped the sentencing would not discourage “legitimate protest” in future.

US Senator Marco Rubio, chairman of the Congressional Executive Commission on China, described the three as “pro-democracy champions worthy of admiration, not criminals deserving jail time”.

Amnesty International slammed authorities’ pursuit of jail terms as a “vindictive attack on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly”.

Wong, who became the face of the mass protests while still a teenager, as well as Nathan Law and Alex Chow were given terms of six months, eight months and seven months respectively after the court upped their previous non-custodial sentences.

Anyone who receives a jail term of more than three months is barred from running for Hong Kong’s partially directly elected parliament for five years.

Defence lawyers argued the trio had insisted on non-violence including at Civic Square, where there was pushing and shoving between protesters and police.

Hong Kong enjoys freedoms unseen on the mainland after being handed back to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” deal, but there are growing fears those rights are disappearing.

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