'There Will Be More Killings': Duterte Committed to Merciless War on Drugs

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PHILIPPINE police are falsifying evidence to justify unlawful killings in a "war on drugs" that has caused more than 7,000 deaths, according to a new report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

HRW said that while Duterte has no direct involvement in the killings linked to his controversial campaign, he has "made himself criminally liable under worldwide law for the unlawful killings as a matter of command responsibility".

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the drug war is created to "protect humanity from modern-day evils".

The President has made a decision to "call back" selected policemen to the government's war on illegal drugs amid reports of rise in drug activities on the streets.

Duterte's response to the human rights report was a little bit different. The report also establishes links between the police force and so-called vigilantes.

"Duterte's "war on drugs" could more aptly be described as crimes against humanity targeting the urban poor", Bouckaert said. This means there will be more killings because (criminals) really fight back.

The senator was responding to rebuttals by the president's office and the police of a report by Human Rights Watch, which on Thursday challenged official accounts that thousands of killings during police operations were in self-defence, and that due process had been followed.


Duterte has consistently defended his hard stance against illegal drugs and has often talked about shoot-to-kill orders in his various speeches. In one of the cases HRW examined, a person was killed because he just happened to have a similar-sounding nickname with a local drug dealer. Apart from these, HRW also documented 24 incidents that resulted in the deaths of 32 people. However, the relatives said the victims were killed in cold blood, defenseless and begging for their lives.

"What I'm saying is there is no basis that the President is behind all these killings".

Duterte's chief lawyer, Salvadore Panelo, said De Lima was deluded and should realise an overwhelming number of Filipinos wanted her behind bars.

A senate investigation in November 2016 into the alleged extrajudicial killings related to the drug war found no evidence that the deaths were state-sanctioned.

Panelo also insisted Duterte is actually trying to solve the country's problem.

Leila de Lima, who previous year led a Senate probe into alleged summary killings during Duterte's anti-drugs campaign, was arrested last week and has been remanded in police detention on drug charges.

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