Posts Tagged ‘Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption’

Philippines war on drugs intensifies, at least 58 killed this week — Duterte tells police to shoot human rights workers “if they get in the way”

August 17, 2017

MANILA (Reuters) – At least 26 people died overnight in police operations in the Philippines capital Manila, authorities said on Thursday, a second night of heavy bloodshed this week in an intensification of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fierce war on drugs and crime.

The killings across Manila followed 32 deaths in near-simultaneous police raids on Monday night in Bulacan province, which borders the capital. Together, they mark the deadliest period of a drugs-focused crackdown that has killed thousands of Filipinos, and caused international alarm, since Duterte took office over a year ago.

Colonel Erwin Margarejo, spokesman for Manila police, described the raids that started late Wednesday in Manila as “one-time, big-time” operations, the same term used by police in Bulacan, who said the victims died because they chose to put up a fight.

“This is ‘one-time, big-time’ operations, so it is not focused only on drugs, we are operating also against other street crimes, like robbery, but these people could also be under the influence of drugs,” Margarejo said.

“If they resisted violently, our police have to defend themselves.”

In this Sept. 5, 2016 photo, police inspect the site where alleged drug user Marcelo Salvador was shot dead by unidentified men in Las Pinas, south of Manila, Philippines. Drug dealers and drug addicts, were being shot by police or slain by unidentified gunmen in mysterious, gangland-style murders that were taking place at night. Salvador became a victim, the casualty of a vicious war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives as part of a campaign by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. AP Photo/Aaron Favila
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Duterte unleashed his crackdown the day he took office on June 30 last year after a convincing win in an election in which he campaigned heavily on a promise to use deadly force to wipe out crime and drugs.

It was not immediately clear what was behind the step-up in the number of coordinated police operations this week, but Duterte gave a clear indication on Wednesday that it had his blessing.

He said it was good that 32 criminals had been killed in Bulacan, then added: “Let’s kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country.”

Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said there had been no instruction to change or increase the scale and scope of the anti-drugs campaign.

“This is just part of our ‘one-time, big-time’ operations against illegal drugs,” he told Reuters.

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Police start to investigate after shooting an apparent drug dealer in Manila. Photograph: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

‘GRAVE DANGER’

Duterte also chided human rights groups on Wednesday for getting in the way of his anti-drugs campaign and said police should shoot them if they obstructed justice, a remark the New York-based Human Rights Watch said puts activists “in grave danger”.

Its deputy Asia director, Phelim Kine, described the comments as “like painting a target on the backs of courageous people working to protect the rights and upholding the dignity of all Filipinos.”

The exact number of people killed during the war on drugs is difficult to quantify, with no independent statistics available and police providing comprehensive data only for deaths during anti-drugs operations, where official accounts typically say suspects resisted arrest.

From the start of the drugs war to the end of July, police said over 3,400 people were killed in their operations. Police said about 2,100 deaths among some 13,500 murders over the same period were drugs-related, attributed to turf wars, informants being silenced, or vigilantes killing drug users.

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Residents near a crime scene where three alleged drug dealers were killed after a raid in Manila. Photograph: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

A total of 65 policemen have been killed on the job during this time.

Critics maintain that members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are executing suspects and say it is likely they have a hand in thousands of unsolved murders of drug users by mysterious vigilantes. The PNP and government reject that.

Although the violence has been criticized by much of the international community, Filipinos largely support the campaign and domestic opposition to it has been muted.

Several Senate hearings into allegations that Duterte operated a death squad when he was a city mayor and was now using the same approach on a national scale have been inconclusive, while an impeachment complaint filed earlier this year was dismissed by Congress.

National police chief Ronald dela Rosa told reporters on Wednesday there would be no let-up in the war on drugs.

“This is unrelenting, we will continue to operate until the end,” he said.

(This version of the story corrects number in headline to 58)

Additional reporting by Dondi Tawatao and Karen Lema; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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Duterte: Shoot CHR personnel if they obstruct justice

MANILA, Philippines (First Published 10:05 p.m.) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said security forces should shoot Commission on Human Rights personnel if they are found to be obstructing justice.

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The president also threatened to have the CHR investigated for conspiracy following its investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of suspected drug suspects and criminals, contradicting an earlier assurance from the Palace that Duterte is aware that independent bodies such as the CHR have roles to perform.

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This statement is the latest in the chief executive’s tirades against the body, which has included a threat to abolish in the past, a remark that he has since dismissed as a “joke.”
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Duterte did not hide his anger at the CHR on Wednesday night.
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“One of these days, kayong human rights, kayong imbestigahan ko. Conspiracy. If they are obstructing justice, you shoot them,” the hot-tempered Duterte said during the anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
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He again returned to his usual refrain against the government body, saying that it is not protecting nor advocating for the rights of crime victims and government personnel.
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“Basta human rights, ilang biktima na rito. Yung lima na namatay, yung one-year-old na ginulgol doon. Yung human rights na yan nasaan? They could not even utter it in public na, ‘Look, do not do that to me.’ Ganito ‘yan e,” he said.
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CHR: We are just doing our constitutional duty

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The CHR on Wednesday night again stressed it is only doing its job when it probes potential rights violations by government personnel.

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“The Commission wishes to reiterate that it is merely doing its constitutional duty and it remains hopeful that the government will recognize that the guarantee of equal protection of the law as well as fair and impartial trial including investigation is a constitutional right available to every single Filipino,” Jacqueline de Guia, CHR spokesperson, said in a statement.
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The Palace recently said that Duterte would not meddle with plans to probe the drug raid in Ozamiz City that led to the death of 15 people, including its former mayor, Reynaldo Parojinog Sr.
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Menardo Guevarra, senior deputy executive secretary, said that as a lawyer, Duterte is aware that the CHR had a mandate to fulfill.
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“He (Duterte) is also a lawyer and he knows that these other agencies have their own mandates, have their own procedures. So they are free to do what they want to do in accordance with their own mandates,” Guevarra said in a press briefing.
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‘Investigate NPA’

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After Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address in July, he also called out the CHR for its alleged failure to investigate crimes committed by non-state actors such as the New People’s Army against the government.

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“Patas tayo. Justice for all. What is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose,” the chief executive said in a media conference after his speech.

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The CHR said that its mandate was to be the watchdog against government abuses and not to implement laws that would stop crime.

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It could also investigate other cases that involve vulnerable sectors, according to De Guia.

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“We do that [investigation] kapag vulnerable sector at tsaka yung IHL (International Humanitarian Law),” she said. The commission has, in the past, condemned the Abu Sayyaf for beheading hostages.

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http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/17/1729880/duterte-shoot-chr-personnel-if-they-obstruct-justice

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After Philippine Police Kill 32 Drug Suspects in One Day; President Duterte Urges Them To Kill 32 More The Next Day

August 16, 2017
Duterte yesterday said authorities should kill more pushers to reduce the drug problem plaguing the country. PPD/File

MANILA, Philippines –  President Duterte welcomed the killing of 32 drug suspects in simultaneous raids in Bulacan last Tuesday and defended policemen from critics who questioned the way the operations were conducted.

Duterte yesterday said authorities should kill more pushers to reduce the drug problem plaguing the country.

“Yung namatay daw sa Bulacan, 32 (Thirty-two people reportedly died in Bulacan) in a massive raid. Maganda yun (That’s good),” the President said at the 19th anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption at Malacañang.

“Pumatay tayo (Let’s kill) another 32 everyday, maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” he added.

Thirty-two suspected drug offenders died and 107 others were nabbed during simultaneous law enforcement operations, which began last Monday in the province. Police recovered illegal drugs, grenades and firearms during the raids.

The President said he is expecting human rights advocates to criticize the law enforcement operations.

“There will be outcry again over the 32 who were killed. They would grieve again for justice,” he said.

“Many are being killed because policemen are working. They are protected under my watch.”

Duterte said he has ordered security forces to destroy the apparatus of the drug trade, which he said is “taking a toll on the lives of the people.”

“My order is to destroy the apparatus. Kung napatay ka, pasensya ka (If you get killed, sorry). We will finish this for the next generation,” he said.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/17/1729961/rody-bulacan-drug-deaths-kill-32-more-daily

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Duterte says drug problem can’t be solved in just one term

President Rodrigo Duterte vowed during the campaign period that he can fix the country from illegal drugs in three to six months. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the country’s illegal drugs problem is so severe that a six-year term for a president is not enough to solve it.

“Look itong shabu, ang drugs, etc., cannot be solved by one man, for a president for one term,” Duterte said in his speech at the Philippine Development Forum: Sulong Pilipinas 2017 forum last Wednesday.

“It has bugged nations, hindi nga kaya ng Amerika, tayo pa,” he added.

READ: Duterte vows to keep drug war amid human rights concerns

 

During the campaign period, Duterte vowed to solve the problem in three to six months.

Three months after assuming presidency in July, the president asked for an extension of another six months.

READ: Rights groups want tougher stance on Duterte’s drug war from Trump

http://www.philstar.com/news-videos/2017/08/11/1727928/watch-duterte-says-drug-problem-cant-be-solved-just-one-term

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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