We’ll probe the drug killings, US told

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Philip­pines has vowed to in­ves­ti­gate re­ports of a wave of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings, the govern­ment said yes­ter­day, af­ter Wash­ing­ton warned mil­i­tary aid to its Asian ally was de­pen­dent on re­spect for hu­man rights.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, nearly 1000 peo­ple have been killed since Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte won a land­slide elec­tion vic­tory in May largely on a pledge to kill thou­sands of crim­i­nals.

The United States em­bassy warned the Duterte govern­ment on Au­gust 12 that mil­lions of dol­lars of mil­i­tary aid al­lot­ted to the Philip­pines was tied to ad­her­ence to the rule of law, due process and re­spect for hu­man rights.

“We are con­cerned by re­ports re­gard­ing ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings of in­di­vid­u­als sus­pected to have been in­volved in drug ac­tiv­ity in the Philip­pines,” it said.

“We strongly urge the Philip­pines to en­sure its law en­force­ment ef­forts are con­sis­tent with its hu­man rights obli­ga­tions,” the em­bassy added.

A Philip­pine for­eign de­part­ment state­ment yes­ter­day said that it took note of US views on the is­sue, adding Manila was fo­cused on the erad­i­ca­tion of drugs in so­ci­ety.

“Nev­er­the­less, while pur­su­ing this ob­jec­tive, the Philip­pine govern­ment is com­mit­ted to the rule of law, and the pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights for all.”

It added, “We do not con­done any un­law­ful killings and Philip­pine au­thor­i­ties have been in­structed to im­me­di­ately look into th­ese in­ci­dents and bring the per­pe­tra­tors to jus­tice.”

Po­lice said on Au­gust 12 they had killed 550 drug sus­pects while ar­rest­ing nearly 8000 oth­ers since af­ter the May elec­tions.

How­ever, ABS-CBN, the coun­try’s largest broad­caster, said more than 400 other peo­ple have been killed since then by shad­owy as­sas­sins who leave card­board signs be­side their vic­tims, ac­cus­ing them of nar­cotics crimes. –

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