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No one benefits from murder, Amnesty tells Duterte anew on 'drug war'

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No one benefits from murder, Amnesty tells Duterte anew on 'drug war'
This undated photo shows people lighting candles to protest killings under the Duterte administration's 'war on drugs.'
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — A rights group on Tuesday refuted President Rodrigo Duterte's claim that Filipinos benefitted from his anti-illegal drug campaign that has seen thousands killed in his years in office.

The president in his public address last night supposedly for the coronavirus crisis took aim anew on human rights groups criticizing his drug war.

By government figures, deaths from police operations are at 6,000, but watchdogs have said the toll could be as high as 30,000.

Amnesty International Philippines has since hit back on Duterte's comments. The group said the president is now playing the victim card when he remarked that the campaign brought no good to him or his family. 

"No one benefits from murder," said Butch Olano, section director of Amnesty in the country. "Children who are orphaned due to the 'war on drugs' certainly do not benefit from this insatiable and vicious system."

The International Criminal Court in June said it may soon open a full investigation on the killings in the Philippines.

Amnesty sought to stress that government has the duty to protect its citizens from drug-related violence and from those by state forces or vigilante groups.

It also challenged Duterte and his administration "to give in detail the benefits that we, as a nation, have sown from the multitudes of killings and violence.

"When crimes against humanity are committed, the entire nation loses," Olano added.

The group advised Duterte not to evade issues of human rights violations, as said in the ICC prosecutor's report and urged him to commit instead to future investigations.

That, however, remains unlikely, as Duterte vowed he would not cooperate into any of the efforts, and in another address, hurled tirades as well at the international body.

"Families of victims, witnesses, lawyers, religious leaders, and others repeatedly expressed their despair at the obstacles stopping them from seeking justice, and the total climate of impunity within the country," Olano continued. — Christian Deiparine

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT RODRIGO DUTERTE WAR ON DRUGS
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