European Parliament condemns Philippine killings

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The European Parliament has condemned the current wave of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and urged the government to “put an end” to these amid the war against illegal drugs.

At the same time, the Members of the EP (MEPs) called on the European Union Delegation to “monitor carefully” the state of lawlessness declared by the Philippine government after a bombing in Davao City on Sept. 2.

“MEPs urge the Philippines government to put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings, launch an ‘immediate investigation’ into them and adopt ‘specific, comprehensive policies and programs’, in full compliance with national and international obligations and respect for human rights,” the EP said in a statement after the Parliament Debate in Brussels on Thursday.

The MEPs said they could understand that drug trafficking and abuse in the Philippines “remain a serious national and international concern” and that millions of people were hurt by the high level of drug addiction and its consequences in the country, but were also concerned with the “extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations in the context of an intensified anti-crime and anti-drug campaign.”

The MEPs noted the Philippine National Police’s report from July 1 to Sept. 4 showing that its members had killed more than a thousand drug suspects and arrested more than 15,000.

The MEPs also condemned the attack on the Davao City night market, which left 15 people dead and 70 wounded, and conveyed their condolences to the victims’ relatives.

Immediately following the bomb attack, Duterte placed the whole country under a state of lawlessness, calling on the military to help the police in maintaining peace and order nationwide.

Duterte said under the state of lawlessness, government security personnel were given a wider authority to conduct inspections such as through checkpoints.  

The EP is an important forum for political debate and decision-making at the EU level. The MEPs are directly elected by voters in all member-states to represent people’s interests with regard to EU lawmaking and to make sure other EU institutions are working democratically.

The Parliament is made up of 751 members elected in the 28 member-states of the enlarged EU and sees its role not only in promoting democratic decision-making in Europe but also in supporting the fight for democracy, human rights, freedom of speech and fair elections across the globe.

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