[From the web] Duterte Threatens Summary Execution of Drug Suspects. Again – HRW

Duterte Threatens Summary Execution of Drug Suspects. Again.
Philippine President Warns Cebu Detainees to ‘Stay in Jail’
Deputy Director, Asia Division
Human Rights Watch

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a fresh reminder as to why his murderous “drug war” has earned United Nations and International Criminal Court scrutiny. Duterte issued a televised death threat against detained drug suspects in Cebu province last week. “You know if I were you guys in Cebu, stay in jail. You want to live longer? Stay in jail,” Duterte said, adding, “Do not go out of that facility. It would not be healthy for you.”

The targets of Duterte’s threat have good reason to be afraid. The brutal lesson of the anti-drug campaign that Duterte launched on June 30, 2016 is that people he threatens with summary execution often end up dead in suspicious police “buy-bust” operations, or at the hands of unidentified gunmen. That campaign has targeted mainly urban slum dwellers and resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 suspected drug dealers and users, including children, by police and police-backed vigilantes.

Duterte’s suggestion that drug suspects who are behind bars are safe from summary execution is perilously wrong. Last year both the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Senate concluded that Philippine National Police officers had committed “premeditated murder” when they shot to death Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in a Manila jail cell in 2016. Those 18 police officers were released on bail in June 2017 and subsequently returned to active duty. Meanwhile, the country’s new Bureau of Corrections Director Ronald Dela Rosa, who retired last month as director general of the Philippine National Police, exhorted prison guards earlier this month at Manila’s New Bilibid Prison to summarily execute imprisoned “drug lords.”

Duterte’s spin doctors may try to deflect criticism about this latest threat by asserting that he was “joking.” But these kinds of comments send a clear message to police officers and other security force members that certain kinds of crimes not only can be committed with impunity, but might even draw praise from the president. They should also send a message to the International Criminal Court of the dire need for a preliminary examinationinto the killings and to the UN for a separate international inquiry.

Read more @www.hrw.org

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s