How many more Filipinos to suffer under Duterte? De Lima asks

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Manila, Philippines – “How many more lives are going to be cut short? How many more Filipino families are going to suffer?”

This was the question Senator Leila de Lima posed before the 61st Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.

In a message read on her behalf during the forum, De Lima said Duterte has “failed to see the country’s drug problem as a public health issue which needs an entirely different set of approaches.”

“How far will my country regress in the name of Duterte’s war on drugs? Until when do we reach the tipping point and say, as a collective people, enough is enough?” the senator asked, a statement issued to the media on Saturday said.

“He (Duterte) is bent on resolving the drug problem in his own unjustified way, at the expense of the rule of law and human rights and despite the lessons learned by countries which adopted the same hard stance against the drug menace and failed,” she said.

According to De Lima, it was stated in the Duterte administration’s 2017 Year-End Key Accomplishments Report that more than 20,000 were killed in the war on drugs.

“Under Duterte administration’s 2017 Year-End Key Accomplishments Report, the Department of Interior of Local Government (DILG), in “Fighting Illegal Drugs” section, stated that a total of 20,322 were killed under the war on drugs,” De Lima said.

De Lima said the war on drugs “has always targeted and victimized low-level dealers and users among the marginalized sectors of the society.”

“Despite the continuing death toll, only a handful is being investigated and prosecuted by the authorities,” the senator said.

She then reiterated her call to the international community to “continue condemning and making the Duterte administration accountable for its murderous war on drugs that lacks moral and legal justification.”

“Let us all say no to extrajudicial killings committed in its name and demand accountability for this government’s failure to adhere to the rule of law and human rights,” De Lima said.

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