Duterte, whose anti-narcotics campaign has left more than 6,000 suspects dead, said human rights advocates mourn the deaths of drug suspects but ignore the plight of victims of drug addicts.
Duterte: Rights advocates ignore victims of drug addicts
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte assailed anew human rights advocates who oppose his controversial drug war in the wake of fresh criticisms by a United Nations official against the bloody campaign.

Duterte, whose anti-narcotics campaign has left more than 6,000 suspects dead, said human rights advocates mourn the deaths of drug suspects but ignore the plight of victims of drug addicts. 

“Do the human rights (advocates) know how many have been affected (by the drug menace)? Do they know how many innocent people have died compared to the sons of a b**** drug addicts? Do they know how many women, children were raped, whose faces were skinned? Who wants that?” the President said during the oath taking of local officials in Malacañang the other day. 

“The problem with human rights (advocates) is they only count the number of deaths. They do not count the number of innocent children, women who died. I do not want that... They are grieving the loss of life of a criminal,” he added. 

Duterte made the statement hours after United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet described the deaths in the Philippines’ war on drugs as “a matter of most serious concern.”

During the opening of the Human Rights Council’s 41st session in Switzerland last Monday, Bachelet urged Philippine authorities to probe the killings as she expressed concern over what she called the “extraordinarily high number of deaths” tied to the drug war. 

Duterte said the Philippines continues to grapple with the drug menace because of the entry of narcotics from international cartels. 

“If you are facing the map, your left hand is the west and your right hand is the east... We still have to fathom the different kinds of cocaine being dropped in both sides of our country,” the President said. 

“So we are suspecting that the (Sinaloa) of Mexico are testing the waters. But we have some sort of – not hard – but we have proof that they have also engaged the Triad, Bamboo Triad, here in Asia,” he added.

Duterte said combating the drug problem would require a lot of resources. 

He believes the country’s problems, including the war on illegal drugs, are so tough that a president should be ready to skin people. 

“I told Inday (Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio), ‘Huwag ka nang pumasok diyan. Unless marunong ka magbalat ng tao.’ Kaya mong balatan ‘yang tao, eh ‘di sige (Do not go there unless you know how to skin people. If you can skin people, go ahead),” he said. “But where will it bring you? Will bring you to trouble. It’s a gamble.”

Senator-elect Ronald dela Rosa also chided Bachelet, saying the human rights official should mind her own business instead of interfering with the country’s internal affairs.

For Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., the public should believe Dela Rosa to “get to the bottom of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).”

“Believe him. If you don’t then you are not interested in getting to the bottom of EJKs, you just want to use the issue to return the idiot previous administration to power and then the drug trade will have its protectors back. Believe him,” Locsin said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Dela Rosa said he would not inhibit from any new Senate investigation into the bloody war on drugs.

On Monday, the United Nations’ human rights chief expressed deep concern over persistent reports of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and threats received by human rights defenders, journalists and members of the Catholic clergy from senior government officials.

In her opening address at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Bachelet said her office is following the situation of human rights in the Philippines very closely. 

“The extraordinarily high number of deaths – and persistent reports of extrajudicial killings – in the context of campaigns against drug use continue,” Bachelet said, noting that even the officially confirmed number of 5,425 deaths would be a matter of most serious concern for any country. 

She welcomed the recent statement by Special Rapporteurs calling for action by the Council. 

UN human rights experts called on the United Nations to establish an independent investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines, citing a sharp deterioration in the situation of human rights across the country, including sustained attacks on people and institutions defending human rights.

In March, Bachelete said Duterte’s war on drugs is not a model for any country.

The rapporteurs have recorded a staggering number of unlawful deaths and police killings in the context of ‘war on drugs,’ as well as killings of human rights defenders. 

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa wants drug traffickers publicly executed by firing squad.

Dela Rosa, a former police, said capital punishment for big-time drug pushers should be held in public to instill fear among members of drug syndicates.

“Firing squad sa plaza covered live by media para makita ng taumbayan na hindi tayo dapat gumawa ng ganito (so the people would see and do not do such things),” he told reporters in Camp Crame, Quezon City yesterday.

Dela Rosa, who was once President Duterte’s chief enforcer of his war on illegal drugs, is pushing for the reimposition of the death penalty for those involved in illegal drugs.

In his proposal, Dela Rosa said only drug dealers in possession of at least one kilo of narcotics such as shabu should receive capital punishment. Street-level pushers and users, meanwhile, are to be spared from the death penalty.

Asked about a possible backlash his proposal would receive from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Dela Rosa said he could care less about their comments. – With Emmanuel Tupas, Pia Lee-Brago

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