De Lima: Duterte admin should now admit it ‘miserably failed’ in drug war
MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration should admit that it has “miserably failed” in stopping the scourge of illegal drugs in the country, Senator Leila de Lima said as she echoed the call of an international rights group to put an end to the Philippine drug war.
“The Duterte administration should now admit that it has miserably failed in stopping the scourge of illegal drugs in the country, and therefore, should make amends by holding these police drug protectors accountable for their crimes,” she said in a statement on Monday.
“They should re-assess their approach and strategies in combating the scourge of illegal drugs,” she added.
The senator also expressed support to demand for government accountability “for the thousands of summary executions and extrajudicial killings (EJKs) of suspected drug offenders in the country often perpetrated by state authorities under the directive of Mr. Duterte.”
De Lima made the call after Amnesty International (AI) urged the government to end its bloody war against illegal drugs following the resignation of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde.
Albayalde, who relinquished his post last October 14, was accused of intervening in the dismissal case of 13 Pampanga policemen involved in the controversial 2013 drug sting.
The police officers, who were under Albayalde’s supervision as former chief of the Pampanga police, were found guilty of grave misconduct for failing to account for all the confiscated evidence.
They were also accused of pilfering millions worth of illegal drugs from the operation.
“The Philippines authorities must ensure that justice is done and that this lawless and murderous campaign ends now,” Amnesty said in its statement last October 14 as it called Albayalde’s resignation the “last blow to the credibility” of the drug war.
“President Duterte has said that due process of law will be afforded to Albayalde – the very rights that his government has denied to thousands of people suspected of using or selling drugs, who have been unlawfully killed by the police acting as judge, jury and executioner,” it added.
“This scandal shows that impunity is entrenched in the institutions supposed to uphold human rights and the rule of law. The authorities must urgently expand their probe into General Albayalde to cover the wide-ranging police abuses that continue up to this day,” the group further said.
De Lima then called on her colleagues at the Senate to join her and other groups in defending human rights and demanding accountability for “all the state-led killings in our country.” /je
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