UN anti-drug body slams Philippines for ‘extrajudicial’ killings

March 2, 2017 9:30 pm

Relatives of victims of extrajudicial killings in Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs join hands during a gathering on the grounds of a church in Manila, Philippines, on March 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The anti-drug body has censured the Philippines for the rampant use of extrajudicial killings in its war on narcotics.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said in its annual report published on Thursday that killing people over their involvement in drug trade and use without providing them with judicial procedures was against international regulations on fighting drugs.
The report said “extrajudicial action, purportedly taken in pursuit of drug control objectives, is fundamentally contrary to the provisions and objectives” of international drug conventions.
It strongly condemned the practice as a “serious violation of human rights” and an “affront to the most basic standards of human dignity.”
The report adds to increasing criticisms about an eight-month anti-drug campaign by the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Estimates about the ruthless campaign suggest that more than 6,500 people have been killed since Duterte took office in June.
Officials say more than 2,500 were killed while resisting police arrest while some 4,000 others were killed in unexplained circumstances.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo by AFP)

The INCB, a quasi-judicial UN body which monitors the implementation of drug conventions, had urged Manila in August 2016 to immediately stop the killings.
It said in its new annual report that it would continue “to encourage states that retain capital punishment to consider the abolition of the death penalty for drug-related offences.”
The report comes as the Philippines seeks to reinstate the death penalty for drug-related crimes.
Last week, the Filipino Parliament passed a second reading of a bill on capital punishment. A final reading is to be held next week but it is viewed as a formality.
Many had expected that increasing international criticism could force Duterte to tone down his rhetoric on drugs. However, the president announced on Tuesday that Philippine police, which had been suspended from the anti-drug campaign in January over corruption claims, would be recalled to the action. 
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