Extrajudicial Killings of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines

Extrajudicial Killings of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines

Hundreds of suspected drug dealers have been killed since the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte took office just one month ago. Six were assassinated in a single night in Manila.

Dozens of similar killings have taken place almost daily in the Philippines, but with drugs and crime so deep-rooted, there is barely any public outrage.

Some 316 suspected drug dealers were killed from July 1-27, 195 of which were vigilante killings, according to police, for being suspected of using or dealing drugs, as a direct result of President Duterte’s campaign to eradicate crime within six months. Human rights groups estimate the body count to be at least double the official number.

President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged the occurrence of extrajudicial killings linked with his war on drugs and today, Thursday, August 4,during an environment summit in Davao City, he said he intends to investigate them.

A vast majority of countries - including the EU - took a clear stand against the death penalty for drug crimes at UNGASS in New York this April, and civil society was united in its demand that the death penalty be abolished. Civil society groups from across the globe have called on UN drug control authorities to urge an immediate stop to the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines.

Yesterday, UNODC - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime issued a Statement condemning the 100s of extra-judicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users in the ‪‎Philippines.

UNODC Executive Director highlighted that such responses contravene the provisions of the international drug control conventions, and will not help to ensure that "all people can live in health, dignity and peace, with security and prosperity", as agreed by governments in the outcome document approved at the UNGASS 2016. UNODC supports a balanced, people-centered, evidence- and rights-based approaches to drug control, rooted in the agreed international conventions and standards.

EURAD is deeply concerned with the news report coming from the Philippines and have raised the issue within the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs. We supported the EU’s efforts to abolish the death penalty for drug crimes during the UNGASS negotiations and will continue to advocate for drug policies that respect human rights. The purpose of the international drug control system is to protect “the health and welfare of mankind”. This requires drug policies that are based on evidence, international collaboration and human rights.