Gutoc to Duterte: Stop the bloody drug war 

Ryan Macasero - Philstar.com
Gutoc to Duterte: Stop the bloody drug war 
Samira Gutoc urges President Duterte to rethink his promise of a bloodier drug war
Edd Gumban / The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Otso Diretso opposition bet Samira Gutoc urged President Rodrigo Duterte to rethink his vow of a bloodier drug war in a statement on Monday. 

“I appeal to your better senses to stop the 'bloodier' drug war for the second half of your presidency,” the Marawi activist and former Bangsamoro Transition Commissioner said.

She addressed the drug war and the president after he slammed the entire opposition slate, except her, for being "worthless" and only criticizing his administration in the same statement. 

Duterte said he would not attack Gutoc out of respect for women. 

READ: Otso Diretso: Criticism of government part of opposition's job

Duterte said last month that the war on drugs would be "harsher in the days to come." 

When asked by reporters if it would be bloodier, the president replied: "I think so." 

READ: ‘Harsher’ anti-narcotics crackdown insults drug war victims — CHR

“I respect your drug war, but what we need is a drug war against the drug lords and against the source of the drugs,” Gutoc said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Amid these pronouncements, a Social Weather Stations survey found that more Filipinos fear becoming victims of extrajudicial killings. 

Results of a December 16 to 19, 2018 poll of 1,440 adults showed 78 percent of Filipinos are worried that they, or anyone they know, will be a victim of summary execution, up by five points from the 73 percent posted in June 2017.

READ: More Pinoys fear being victims of EJKs

While the government pegs the number of deaths in the drug war at around 5,000 people, human rights groups peg the number at over 22,000.

The senatorial candidate said that some LGUs, without specifying which one, were able to carry out successful anti-drug campaigns without any deaths. 

It was reported in 2017 that Bogo City, Cebu, was able to carry out a successful anti-drug campaign without anyone being killed in police operations. 

“We can do this in the entire Philippines,” Gutoc said. 

She also asked several questions on what actions are being taken to ensure human rights amid the ongoing drug war: “Where is the help for the victims that were only wearing shorts and flip flops? Where are the improvements to speed up justice in our country? ”  

“Let us move on from this nightmare and start building peace in our nation,” Gutoc asked. 
“Karahasan po ang itinuturo natin sa ating mga musmos, at sa karahasan po sila pupunta (Violence is being taught to our children, and they will turn to violence),” she said.

“We must raise children who will love and work for peace, not ones who are desensitized to violence and will continue to perpetuate this vicious cycle. Our children’s future is at stake.”

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