Karapatan welcomes Robredo’s ICAD report, pushes for justice and accountability for “drug war” victims

Human rights alliance Karapatan welcomed the release of Vice President Leni Robredo’s report on the “drug war,” in her short stint as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), which showed how the Duterte administration’s brutal and anti-poor drug war has been a “massive failure.”

“Karapatan, together with the families of victims of drug-related killings and human rights violations, welcomes the release of Vice President Leni Robredo’s report on the drug war from her short stint as the ICAD co-chair. Her report merely affirms what human rights groups have already reported based on work with grassroots communities—that the State policy of mass murder against the poor failed and has been ineffective curbing the proliferation of illegal drugs and in resolving the root causes of such in the country—at the expense of millions of pesos in government funds and resources and thousands of lives,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay stated.

The Karapatan official further said that the organization supports Robredo’s recommendation to “abandon this policy that places premium on use of law enforcement methods that resulted in killings in favor of a policy that ‘promotes and ensures accountability and transparency’ must be asserted,” and that the “government must reciprocate by implementing data-driven policies that not only focus on street-level enforcement, but on a holistic approach on ‘prevention, detention, prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration’ that upholds people’s rights and basic human dignity.”

Palabay also slammed the reactions from government agencies and officials dismissing the report as baseless or a mere political attack, saying that these reactions “merely attempt to disregard the fact that her report shows data and details how and where the drug war has failed. State forces have only seized less than one percent of shabu in the past three years and yet they continue to operate with brazen impunity, even with the expose on the ‘ninja cops’ scandal and the deep involvement of the police and government officials in the distribution of illegal drugs in the country.”

“Karapatan enjoins Robredo to continue working with the families of drug-related killings and other victims of human rights violations of the Duterte regime in demanding for genuine accountability and justice, and an end to the killings,” the Karapatan official ended.