NOVEMBER 12, 2019 – The country’s independent human rights body hopes that human rights situation will improve with Vice President Leni Robredo leading the government’s drug war, its spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomed Robredo’s acceptance of her designation as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Robredo has vowed to prevent “senseless” killings in the anti-narcotics campaign, which killed more than 5,500 drug suspects and criticized police officers for alleged corrupt practices.
“Being a vocal advocate of human rights, we hope that this translates into the better observance of human rights standards, including greater transparency in drug operations,” de Guia said.
The CHR also looks forward to investigations into alleged cases of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the drug war, and demand of accountability from its perpetrators, she added.
In August, the U. N. Human Rights Council voted to approve a resolution filed by Iceland to look into the human rights situation in the Philippines after thousands were killed in the government’s brutal and bloody war on drugs policy.
Malacañang yesterday said the Duterte administration is open if Robredo decides to overhaul the campaign, including the scrapping of “Oplan Tokhang.”
Robredo has floated the idea of replacing “Oplan Tokhang,” the administration’s flagship anti-illegal drug policy, with a “more effective” campaign that does not involve “senseless killings.”
The Philippine National Police expressed openness to possible changes, but advised Robredo at the same time to focus on the rehabilitation and advocacy aspect of the drug war.
The vice president yesterday consulted an alliance of advocates for community-based drug rehabilitation, and met with officials from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to discuss programs that may help curb the illegal drugs problem.
“Ang napag-usapan doon (UNODC meeting), primarily, ay iyong mga best practices na mga programa na maaari nating tingnan at maaari nating bigyan ng pansin pagdating doon sa paglaban sa ating problema sa droga, at saka iyong mga naging karanasan ng ibang bansa kung paano ito tugunan,” Undersecretary Philip Dy, Robredo’s chief of staff, said. (Karen Macalalad / MM)