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LP urges public to fight for rule of law as drug killings rise

Amid the rising number of killings of drug suspects, the former ruling party, the Liberal Party, urged the public to fight to enforce the rule of law. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines — The Liberal Party on Tuesday called on Filipinos to assert their "collective willingness to enforce the rule of law" as it reminded them that despite myriad challenges the Philippines still remains a nation of laws.

LP released the statement on Law Day and amid a backdrop of mounting number of deaths allegedly connected to the government's brutal campaign to eradicate narcotics and criminality and the continuing security problems posed by Islamist militants and rebels.

READ: Drug war, Islamists 'rising' risks for Philippine economy — Moody's

The erstwhile ruling party said that rule of law would guarantee a society that value the rights, freedom and humanity of its people.

"We celebrate Law Day today as a faithful reminder that the Philippines is a nation of laws," LP said.

The party listed some challenges to the concept of equality before the law in the Philippines.

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The criminal justice system was in serious need of reforms, and cases proceeded very slowly in courts, according to LP.

There were also instances in which suspects were incarcerated longer that their jail terms, it said.

The party also alluded to the recent spate of police-related killings of suspects in its statement.

It said that there was distrust in law enforcers today, and suspects were being killed even before they were formally charged.

"In a number of cases, those who die are innocent people," the party said.

READ: UNICEF Philippines 'deeply concerned' with drug war's impact on kids

President Rodrigo Duterte's government is being criticized both domestically and internationally for his government's bloody campaign to destroy what the chief executive calls the "illegal drug apparatus."

As the number of deaths mounts, cops, who are tasked to conduct Duterte's campaign, are accused of circumventing the law and killing suspects without the benefit of trial, a charge that they deny.

"Throughout the world, adherence to the rule of law is central to the promise of a safe, free, and just society. Unfortunately, it is never handed on a silver platter," LP said.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, the president of LP, said that Law Day was a reminder that laws were put in place to protect.

He recalled the story of a certain Aling Rosing who filed a case against cops who killed her husband and son in an anti-drug raid in their Caloocan City home.

Pangilinan said that Aling Rosing's courage should serve as an inspiration to everyone.

"Hindi ba kayo natatakot? Sabi niya, kailangan kong lumaban para sa asawa ko at anak ko. Ang galing na inspirasyon," the senator said.

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