On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte dared the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that instead of investigating the government for human rights violations, CHR should just focus on convincing addicts to stop using drugs.
“It (the drug trade) is so organized. Talagang may mga factory na sila kung saan saan. It’s a worldwide business. Kaya kayo, hoy mga p— ina kayong mga human rights, kung hindi man ninyo tinitingnan ‘yan… bigyan ko kayo ng kopya,” he said.
“Convince these people na nasa listahan to stop kasi sabihin mo, ‘Maghinto kayo, baka mamatay kayo.’ That is the proper way of doing things instead of going after us who are enforcing the law,” Duterte added.
In September, the chief of United Nations (UN) urged the administration to “revoke the policies” of its war on drugs campaign as it allegedly resulted in human rights violations and killings.
“There is clearly an urgent need to revoke the policies that continue to result in killings and other human rights violations, to bring to justice the perpetrators, and to halt the use of rhetoric inciting violence against people who use or sell drugs,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
The Human Rights Watch meanwhile reported that killings related to Duterte’s drug war increased during the pandemic.
Duterte dares rights groups to convince drug addicts to stop
Carlos Conde, HRW – Asia Division researcher, said killings related to the government’s war on drugs increased by 50% from April to July 2020 compared to the previous four-month period.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported in September it arrested 1,121 high-value targets in the country from January to July of 2020.
Villanueva added the PDEA conducted over 18,000 anti-drug operations from January to July 2020, of which more than 26,000 drug personalities were arrested.
The PDEA chief also said that the number of drug-cleared barangays in the country was 19,876 as of July 31, 2020.
However, 14,491 or 34.47% of the 42,045 barangays nationwide are still drug-affected. The number is lower than the over 24,000 drug-affected barangays when President Rodrigo Duterte became the President in 2017.
More than 7,000 other barangays in the Philippines are unaffected by illegal drugs.