Wednesday, 22 May 2019

All Filipinos casualties if impunity continues  in Duterte

anti-drug and anti-crime campaign

The Alternative Law Groups (ALG) Inc. asserts that human rights and due process must be
upheld in the continuing anti-drug and anti-crime campaign under the administration of
President Rodrigo Duterte.

As a national coalition of legal resource nongovernmental organizations that adhere to the
principles  and values of alternative or developmental law, we demand greater transparency
and accountability in the implementation of the governmentís campaign.

We are deeply concerned with the rising incidence of extrajudicial and alleged vigilante killings,  
torture and other inhumane practices related to this campaign. We believe that perpetrators  
should be punished, including local government officials, law enforcers and private citizens if
found guilty, following the immediate probe of such cases under the law.

Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) must strictly adhere to commitment to
human rights. The organization itself refers to ďcommunity and human-rights based policingĒ
and cites it as a measure of competence and professionalism; thus, those who defy it among
their ranks and break  the law even as they enforce it, must be strongly sanctioned.  In
addition, the silence of the PNP  regarding issues of alleged vigilante killings is deafening.
The mandate of the PNP is to ensure the peace and order of society; therefore, reports of
this issue should not be tolerated despite the aggressive anti-drug and crime campaign. To
further ensure that the rule of law is being upheld, greater monitoring and efforts should be
implemented and enforced in preventing and restraining vigilante killings especially in areas
where criminality and drug abuse are rampant.

Perceived gains in the accelerated apprehension of alleged drug users and criminal offenders
must  not compromise the rule of law, and divert focus from the need for sustainable policy
reforms to effectively address corruption and other problems in the security sector and justice

Inevitably, all Filipinos are casualties when the culture of impunity persists, and especially when
it is cheered rather than condemned.

We urge the President himself to lead the country against excessive violence and abuse of power
as  these do not offer long-term solutions to peace and order and instead, magnify the issue of
access to justice by all citizens, especially the poor and marginalized.

We appeal for increasing support for the advocacy and oversight initiatives of civil society in this
issue. The longstanding role of nongovernment and peopleís organizations as nonpartisan
watchdogs of government has safeguarded and served our nationís democratic ideals then and

We remain committed to this role with President Duterteís promise of Ďchange.í In turn, we
continue to ensure fundamental human rights are promoted and protected equally with enforcing
the law.

Alternative Law Groups (ALG)
Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development in Mindanaw, Inc. (BALAOD MINDANAW), Childrenís Legal Bureau (CLB),
Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), EnGendeRights, Educational Research and Development Assistance Foundation (ERDA), Humanitarian Legal Assistance
 Foundation (HLAF), Human Rights Unlimited (HRU), Kaisahan Tungo sa Kaunlaran ng Kanayunan at Repormang  Pansakahan (KAISAHAN), Kanlungan Center Foundation,
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa  Kalikasan (LRC-KSK), Paglilingkod Batas Pangkapatiran Foundation, Inc. (PBPF), Participatory Research Organization  
of Communities and Education Towards Struggle for Self-Reliance (PROCESS-PANAY), Rainbow Rights (R-Rights)  Project, Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal (SALIGAN),
Tanggapang Panligal ng Katutubong Pilipino (PANLIPI), ¬†Tanggol Kalikasan (TK), Tebtebba Indigenous Peoplesí International Center for Policy Research and Education

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