More killed under Duterte than Marcos, says human rights group

Posted on July 31, 2017

HUMAN RIGHTS group Amnesty International (AI) again condemned President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his administration over what it described as a “wide range of human rights violations” and creating “a climate of lawlessness.”

This photo taken on July 14, 2017 shows funeral workers carrying the dead body of an alleged drug dealer killed after a police drug operation in Manila. AFP
“Using the highest office in the country, (Mr.) Duterte has explicitly approved violence that has led to thousands of extrajudicial executions, in the government’s anti-drug campaign. This surpasses even the number of people killed during the murderous rule of Ferdinand Marcos from 1972-1981,” AI said on Saturday.

James Gomez, AI’s director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said the “violent campaign has not ended crime or solved the problems associated with drugs.”

Last February, AI released a report documenting how the police “have come to resemble a criminal enterprise, killing mostly poor people suspected to be drug users and sellers, or paying others to kill them, while stealing the victims’ possessions, planting evidence and evading any accountability.”

The group also noted that “there has been no credible investigation” into the spur of extrajudicial executions and said these “may amount to crimes against humanity.”

Meanwhile, Senator Leila M. de Lima, one of the President’s harshest critics who has been detained for alleged drug involvement, said she has been receiving reports on cops dumping bodies of killed drug suspects on the sides of highways and into the Manila bay, similar to what was reported Saturday by news agency Al Jazeera.

“It can be recalled that this is the same pattern of killings that Davao Death Squad insider, Edgar Matobato, confessed to the Senate,” the senator said.

She added, “This is clearly part of President Duterte’s promise that ‘he will kill drug pushers and do-nothings, dump them in Manila Bay and fatten all the fish there.’” -- Jil Danielle M. Caro