A group of lawyers working for victims of extrajudicial killings that were committed under the government’s “war on drugs” called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to review the policy.
“If Marcos really intends to continue the ‘war on drugs’ within the framework of the law and with respect for human rights, he should cooperate more closely with the [International Criminal Court] investigation, and eventually, rejoin the assembly of states parties,” read a statement issued by the Manananggol Laban sa Extra-Judicial Killings (Manlaban sa EJK).
The group said it “remains committed to the fight for the sanctity of human life under the new Marcos administration.”
Formed during the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte to combat the policy and the rhetoric of the drug-related killings, Manlaban said it will stay “to scrutinize the same in the next six years.”
The organization has initiated and conducted, in different capacities, documentation, investigation, and prosecution of killings connected to the “war on drugs.”
At least 20 murder or homicide cases against police officers that are in court are handled by members of the organization. The number of cases filed is only a fraction of the 6,252 allegedly killed in police operations.
The group said it supports the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) “as it will achieve the ‘high level of accountability’ that Marcos has said he wants in human rights.”
In its statement on Monday, July 4, Manlaban said that an investigation into the drug-related killings “must also include a review of the policy and responsibility of senior political leaders and law enforcement officials, not just of implementation.”
“These incidents are far beyond isolated incidents or supposed actions by erring policemen,” said the group.
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