War on drugs can’t stop drug problem
"The war on drugs is not designed to stop illegal drugs in the country."
This was the statement made by Representative Gary Alejano of the Magdalo Partylist during the "SoAnoNa" Forum held at Ecotech in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, yesterday.
Alejano said that when he asked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency what its strategy was in stopping the problem of illegal drugs, the agency did not provide an answer.
"There is no strategy," he said, adding that probably only President Rodrigo Duterte knows.
The war on drugs of the Duterte administration, he said, is a controlling mechanism designed to instill fear.
Not just suspected drug personalities have been killed in the war on drugs, Alejano said, but also democracy, the due process of law, and respect for human rights.
Alejano urged the people to help the government, but not to support extrajudicial killings.
Etta Rosales, former commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights, gave names of those who were killed in police drug operations including the Parojinogs of Ozamiz City.
"...hindi binigyan ng pag-asa, pinatay nila," she said.
Rosales also presented during the forum the number of deaths related to Duterte’s war on drugs for the period January to August 2017.
According to Rosales, 143 were killed during police operations in January alone, while 71 were killed by unidentified assailants. In February, two were killed in police operations while 58 were killed by unidentified assailants.
In March, 54 were killed during police operations while 63 were killed by unknown assailants. In April, 84 were killed in police operations, 51 by unknown assailants.
For May, 128 were killed in police operations, 89 by unknown assailants, while in June, 114 were killed during police operations while 73 were killed by unknown assailants.
Furthermore, records show that 105 were killed in police operations and 48 were killed by unknown assailants in July. In August, 177 were killed during police operations and 52 were killed by unknown assailants.
With over 1,200 drugrelated killings recorded, Rosales is calling for the end of these killings and to start the healing.