Duterte will pay price for drugs killings, detained senator says

  • Duterte will pay price for drugs killings, detained senator says

Duterte will pay price for drugs killings, detained senator says

DAVAO CITY, Philippines-An global human rights organization said that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte could be held liable for "crimes against humanity" as his bloody war on drugs claimed more than 7,000 deaths.

Duterte said he can not be responsible for the victims of the alleged extra judicial killings at the height of Oplan Tokhang but claimed responsibility for the deaths carried out during legitimate operations.

There were also cases wherein policemen would plant pieces of evidence, such as firearms, spent ammunition or illegal drugs, on the body of a slain suspect, to justify the killing.

"It's very important for police chiefs and for those involved in this campaign of killing to understand that President Duterte can not protect them from criminal liability for these crimes", he said.

National Police Spokesman Dionardo Carlos said Human Rights Watch should share its information with the police so any perpetrators can be charged in court.

The HRW made this assertion after releasing its report containing several witnesses' accounts of widespread abuse of police power.

It also references initial police reports of killings, which Human Rights Watch said its field research consistently contradicted. The anti-drugs campaign is now in the hands of the military and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

It is estimated that more than 7,000 people have been killed.

The rest of the deaths were categorized as "under investigation" where most of the assailants, often "vigilantes", are unknown. "As their continuing public statements make clear, Duterte and his top subordinates have denied or downplayed the illegality of police actions, showing no inclination or intent to investigate alleged crimes", HRW said.

Duterte's anti-drugs crackdown has alarmed the global community. "It won't end tomorrow", Duterte said, as quoted by The Philippine Star newspaper.

Bouckaert said Duterte has created a myth that the Philippines is spiraling into a lethal drug crisis. "It's a warning actually to stop", he said.

"This is an organized, government-sanctioned campaign of executions of drug suspects", Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch's emergencies director, said in a statement.

As the death toll rises from the bloody war on narcotics, HRW also called on the United Nations to "urgently create an independent, worldwide investigation into the killings to determine responsibility, and ensure mechanisms for accountability".

To worldwide donors, HRW recommended that they stop providing funding and assistance to the PNP until all the drug war-related killings stop.