Karapatan: Marcos recognition of drug war abuses 'empty rhetoric'

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
Karapatan: Marcos recognition of drug war abuses 'empty rhetoric'
This photo taken on June 27, 2019, shows policemen at the crime scene where the body of a barangay (inner city neighbourhood) health worker and former drug surrenderee Michael Oescayno, lies on the ground after unidentified gunmen shot him.
AFP / Noel Celis

MANILA, Philippines — A human rights group has called out President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s for appearing to criticize the alleged drug war abuses committed by the Duterte administration even as his administration refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s probe on the drug war.

Karapatan said in a statement that Marcos' words betray his "doubletalk in addressing persistent questions on justice and accountability of the previous administration.”

This comes after Marcos said in a forum last week that "there were abuses by certain elements of the government" in its anti-illegal drugs campaign and that the previous administration focused "very much on enforcement.”

During the same forum, Marcos stressed the need for rehabilitation of people who use drugs and a “reeducation” campaign for the youth to steer clear of drug use—a campaign promise he made that also appears to take a different tack from his predecessor.

But Karapatan pointed out that the Marcos Jr. administration is still defying the International Criminal Court’s move to resume its investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity committed by the previous administration.

“All these indicate not just the empty rhetoric of the Marcos Jr. administration in pursuing justice for the drug war victims, but its complicity in whitewashing the crimes of Duterte and cohorts and its perpetuation of the same draconian policies,” the group said.

The Marcos administration has repeatedly attempted to shield Duterte from the ICC since 2022 by asking the tribunal to suspend its probe or appealing its decision to resume it, until Marcos said in March that they have decided to “disengage” with the international tribunal. 

Marcos also falsely claimed that the ICC's probe was a "threat" to the country's sovereignty and that the international court retained no jurisdiction over the country.

RELATED: Fact check: Philippines has obligations despite leaving ICC in 2019

Continued rights violations under Marcos 

Human rights violations also continue under the Marcos administration, including “extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, forced or fake surrenders, civilian endangerment through bombings and more,” the group said.

In 2023 alone, there have been at least 95 reported drug-related killings, according to the UP Third World Studies Center's running count of drug-related casualties.

In February, the European Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights said that while it has noted a change in the focus of the government’s approach to curbing illegal drugs, investigations of extrajudicial killings under Duterte were still slow, with only 25 cases filed and three people sentenced out of the alleged 6,000 people killed. — with reports from Xave Gregorio

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with