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Extrajudicial killings in war on drugs 'unprecedented', says CHR

Graphic: Members of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights

Around 1,900 people have been killed during the first 55 days of the Duterte administration, the CHR Chairperson told a parliamentary hearing.

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Jose Luis Martin "Chito" Gascon has told a parliamentary hearing that the rising number of casualties from President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs was "unprecedented" since the Commission was established, Inquirer.net reported.

He noted that during the administration of former President and now Pampanga lawmaker Gloria Arroyo, 100 to 200 human rights defenders, activists, and journalists were killed in a 12 to 18 month period.

But during the first 55 days of the Duterte administration, approximately 1,900 people have been killed during police operations and by vigilantes, he said.

"We do have to stress that we have not experienced this scale or magnitude of cases since the Commission of Human Rights was established in 1987," Gascon said.

Gascon said the CHR was able to respond to only 20 percent of its active human rights cases.

"What we are doing is documenting, trying to dig deeper, to go further," he said.

"Our objective is essentially documentation and calling, of course, on authorities to fully investigate these [cases]."

Gascon said the spate of summary killings by vigilantes should be treated as crimes which law enforcement agencies should fully investigate to bring the perpetrators to jail.

He urged the administration to look into a more rehabilitative and restorative approach to drug criminality and not only focus on law enforcement operations.

"The solution is more restorative, or rehabilitative, regarding those involved in crimes or possession or use of drugs. Move them away from jails to rehabilitation centers instead," Gascon said.

Date: 24 August 2016

Source: Inquirer.net


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  1. Members of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights - Philippines Commission on Human Rights