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Pinoys in Netherlands to picket vs killings, rights violations under Duterte

A protester splashes red paint on a picture of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as they hold a rally near the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. The protesters are condemning the increase in the alleged killings of activists and intensified military operations against communist rebels after Duterte officially terminated peace talks with the insurgents. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — A group of Filipinos in the Netherlands will hold a protest in The Hague to condemn the alleged extrajudicial killings and human rights violations under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Filipinos Against Corruption and Tyranny (FACT) will hold a picket in front of the Philippine Embassy in The Hague on December 11 as part of the commemoration of international human rights day.

“We believe that the Duterte regime is responsible for these violations through direct orders to the police and military to commit murders, threats, and arbitrary arrests," FACT spokesperson Marlon Lacsamana said in a statement.

Filipinos in the Netherlands and their Dutch friends have expressed alarm over the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Organizations and individuals of different nationalities from The Hague, Utrecht and Amsterdam are expected to participate in the protest.

Lacsamana lamented that the culture of impunity has been implicitly supported by world leaders like US President Donald Trump. The US leader had praised the Duterte administration's war on drugs, according to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

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READ: Trump gave biggest support to drug war, says Roque

“This is why Filipinos in other countries need to express their indignation. This is no longer a small matter or simply a ‘national’ issue, but a matter for peace-loving and human-rights-respecting people in every country," Lacsamana said.

Martial law in Mindanao

FACT compared Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao to the authoritarian rule of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The group observed that Duterte's refusal to lift martial law, which has exacerbated human rights abuses in the region, follow a similar pattern to the dictatorship of Marcos.

"The group is resolved to add its voice to those who have been urging the International Criminal Court to probe these incidents as possible 'crimes against humanity.'" FACT said.

About 13,000 have been killed under Duterte's so-called war on drugs, including minors, although the government only acknowledges a little more than 3,900 who have been killed in anti-drug operations. Other deaths have been attributed to vigilantes and to drug syndicates.

FACT said hundreds have also been killed allegedly due to their political affiliations and opposition to the government.

In September, 39 countries have expressed concern over the rising number of drug-related killings in the Philippines and called on the government to end these deaths.

The Philippine government, however, insisted that there is no culture of impunity in the country.

RELATED: Philippines on call to end drug war deaths: Look who's talking

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