Even the deportation of Australian nun Patricia Fox had not silenced the rumblings of protest from a growing number of Filipinos who are questioning the conduct of the government’s war on drugs.
If anything, the admission by Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, Police Regional Office (PRO-7) chief, that retired police officers and scalawags in the police ranks had encouraged rights group Human Rights Watch to call on the government to create an independent commission to investigate the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.
But like previous attempts to pressure the police and by extension the government to do something about the killings, one can expect not only a refusal but another profanity-laced tirade from President Rodrigo Duterte on those brave enough to push for an inquiry into the case.
If a United Nations rapporteur got roadblocked to investigate the killings, the outcome may or may not be different for HRW who had called on other groups to join the investigation.
But then again, the immediate goal is to attract intensified global attention to the Duterte administration’s ongoing war on drugs which counted the death toll in the thousands and now includes law enforcers believed to be linked to the illegal drug trade.
Then even with cooperation from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) any findings uncovered in the independent investigation would likely be ignored and receive denunciation from President Duterte who made it clear that he will drive home his administration’s bloody war on drugs to candidates wishing to receive his endorsement in next year’s midterm elections.
Which is why domestic sentiment or public opinion and understanding on the administration’s war on drugs is vital, however favorable it stands now for government, in shoring up any investigation whether done by the HRW or the Senate into the killings.
Though Pinoys generally approve of the bloody war on drugs, their suspicion and distrust of law enforcers are growing by the day.
And the longer the war goes and more questions arise over the circumstances in the deaths of drug suspects, the tougher it is for President Duterte to continually justify his bloody war on drugs.
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