Philippines’ top lawyer urges more killings
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. –