Philip­pines’ top lawyer urges more killings

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Philip­pine gov­ern­ment’s top lawyer yes­ter­day called for po­lice to kill more sus­pected drug crim­i­nals, as he de­fended Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s bru­tal war on crime in the face of mount­ing crit­i­cism.

Po­lice have con­firmed killing more than 110 sus­pects since Mr Duterte won elec­tions in May promis­ing a law-and-or­der crack­down that would claim thou­sands of lives and fill fu­neral par­lours.

As the of­fi­cial death toll has mounted, and other bod­ies not con­firmed killed by po­lice have been found with plac­ards declar­ing them drug traf­fick­ers, hu­man rights lawyers and some law­mak­ers have ex­pressed deep con­cerns about the war on crime spi­ralling out of con­trol.

In re­sponse to the crit­i­cism, So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral Jose Cal­ida held a press con­fer­ence to­day at na­tional po­lice head­quar­ters to in­sist on the le­gal­ity of the po­lice killings and to en­cour­age more deaths of peo­ple sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in the drug trade.

“To me, that is not enough,” Mr Cal­ida said of the killings so far.

“How many drug ad­dicts or push­ers are there in the Philip­pines? Our vil­lages are al­most sat­u­rated [with drugs].”

Mr Duterte, who took of­fice on June 30, has re­peat­edly warned that dras­tic ac­tion is needed to stop the Philip­pines from be­com­ing a narco-state.

A lawyer and a for­mer pros­e­cu­tor, Mr Duterte has urged law en­forcers to kill those they be­lieve are in­volved in the drug trade, as well as other crim­i­nals.

In one of the dead­li­est sin­gle in­ci­dents, po­lice re­ported killing eight “drug per­son­al­i­ties” dur­ing a predawn raid on July 9 in a small south­ern town.

As in the other cases, po­lice in­sisted they were forced to shoot after en­coun­ter­ing re­sis­tance. –

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