Men armed with weapons administer death penalties in Duterte’s anti-drug campaign

During a House Committee on Human Rights hearing, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno emphasized that the individuals killed from July 2016 to November 2017 were not sentenced by the courts but by armed men. The discussion revolved around the alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) that occurred during the anti-drug war led by former President Rodrigo Duterte.

Diokno, who chairs the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), expressed concerns about the lack of accountability in the 20,322 drug-war related deaths during the specified period. He highlighted that this number could fill up the SM Mall of Asia Arena, illustrating the scale of the issue.

Furthermore, Diokno revealed that the report containing the number of deaths was part of the 2017 year-end accomplishment report of the Office of the President under Duterte, a detail referenced in a Supreme Court en banc resolution from April 2018. The report indicated that out of the total deaths, 3,967 occurred during police operations, while 16,355 were attributed to other perpetrators, including riding-in-tandem assailants.

Diokno also pointed out instances where killers initially labeled as unidentified were later revealed to be police officers, raising concerns about accountability and transparency in the anti-drug campaign. The House panel initiated a probe into Duterte’s drug war last May, focusing on alleged EJKs and police conduct during operations.

Diokno’s statements during the hearing underscored the need for addressing the high number of deaths associated with the drug war and holding accountable those responsible for extrajudicial killings.

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