UN special rapporteur, policy experts criticize Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’
UNTV News • May 6, 2017 • 3145
MANILA — Speaking before a drug policy forum, United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard said the general assembly of nations last year recognized that the so-called “war on drugs” does not work.
Instead, such policies only add and escalate problems such as extra judicial killings and the breakdown of the rule of law.
Dr. Callamard said, “Badly thought out, ill-conceived drug policies foster a regime of impunity, infecting the whole justice sector and reaching into societies, invigorating the rule of violence rather than the rule of law, eroding public trust in public institutions, breeding fear and leading people to despair. These have been well-documented throughout the world.”
Callamard added that for 8 months, she has been watching the situation in the Philippines.
She heard debates between politicians, explanations of government officials and even watched footage of police and military men.
She is convinced that there are better options than the war on drugs.
“There are other ways, better ways, evidence-based scientific ways of combating drug abuse and trafficking, ways that do not make matters worse,” Callamard said.
Experts on drug policy also criticized Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.
They say it is a war against certain people that is portrayed as something else.
“There’s no such thing as a war on drugs… all you need to do is to look at whose being arrested, who’s being killed. The poor people on your society,” Columbia University Professor Dr. Carl Hart said.
International Drug Policy Project Executive Director Dr. John Collins said, “The Philippines is seen as a transshipment point… that have not been necessarily or overtly targeted in the current war on drugs.”
A group of human rights lawyers in the country is disturbed with how the government’s drug policy is going.
Free Legal Assistance Chairman Dean Jose Manuel Diokno said, “Everyday that people are encouraged to take the law into their own hands, live are lost but even bitter than that, our legal system losses all its meaning.”
Meanwhile, Callamard reacted on Malacañang’s statement regarding her unadvised arrival to the country.
“They are entitled to monitor me absolutely. I am here under the invitation of the university and of the task force, and I will participate to the discussion in that role and that’s the only contribution and work that I will be doing in the next two days,” Dr. Callamard reacted. — Roderick Mendoza, UNTV News & Rescue
WATCH: Malacañang disappointed with UN Special Rapporteur’s visit
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday lauded the efforts of frontliners in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as the sacrifices of soldiers as the country marks the Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan).
In a message, Duterte paid tribute to the “selfless and dedicated frontliners whose unrelenting commitment in this fight reflects the heroism of the warriors of Bataan that continues to inspire in us a greater sense of patriotism and solidarity during these trying times.”
The president said the Day of Valor is “a firm reminder of the unyielding determination of the Filipino to prevail over all forms of adversity.”
“The valor of our forebears, which was exhibited during the defense of Bataan almost eight decades ago, has left an indelible mark in our history and shaped our indomitable spirit to rise after every fall,” he added.
Duterte also honored “our fallen soldiers whose sacrifice became the bedrock of our resolve to uphold our most cherished liberties.”
“May this awareness resonate among us as we strive to become worthy heirs to the nation that they fought and bled for. A meaningful and solemn remembrance to all,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte remains “fit and healthy” and continues to discharge his functions as the head of the government, Malacañang assured the public Thursday.
The Palace issued the statement following rumors claiming that the president suffered a mild stroke.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte remains fit and healthy for his age and we thank the Filipino people for voicing their concern and wishing the Chief Executive’s strength and good health during this time of COVID-19 pandemic as he continues to discharge his functions as head of the government,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
The rumors began after Malacañang announced that Duterte’s public address this week will be rescheduled.
Duterte was supposed to hold his “Talk to the People” last Monday but it was moved to Wednesday. Roque later then said that the president’s speech has been moved to next week.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Duterte’s former long-time aide, disclosed that Duterte’s public address was postponed after some members of the Presidential Security Group tested positive for COVID-19.
Go assured that the president is in good health condition and busy with paperwork, even posting photos of him and Duterte to dispel the rumors.
On Thursday afternoon, Go shared another photo of him and Duterte captioned with “Now lang. Sa Bahay Pagbabago,” referring to the president’s official residence.
Duterte turned 76 last March 28.
The president’s last public appearance was on March 29 when he addressed the public after personally welcoming the arrival of one million Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses.
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is in good health condition and busy with paperwork, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said, dispelling rumors that the president suffered a mild stroke.
In a post on Facebook on Wednesday night, Go shared photos of him with Duterte to dismiss rumors circulating on social media about the president’s health and whereabouts.
“Sa mga may masasamang hangarin, wag muna kayo mag celebrate!! Nandito lang si Tatay Digong. Tambak ang trabaho,” said Go, a former long-time aide of Duterte.
Sa mga may masasamang Hangarin, Wag muna kayo mag celebrate!! Nandito lang si Tatay Digong. Tambak ang trabaho. “Hindi…
“Hindi ito ang panahon ng pagsisisihan kundi panahon ng Pagtutulungan. Suot ko damit kong dilaw pero DU30 yan!!!” Go said, referring to the term “yellow,” which is associated with the Liberal Party.
“Sana tulungan na lang natin ang ating mahal na Pangulo para malagpasan natin ang crisis na ito bilang nagkaka-isang mamamayang Pilipino. Salamat po,” he added.
Go’s post followed rumors claiming that Duterte’s public address was canceled this week because he suffered a mild stroke.
The senator earlier disclosed that Duterte’s usual “Talk to the People” was postponed after some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) caught COVID-19.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the public speech was rescheduled because the “physical safety of the President remains our utmost concern.”
“In addition, the preparation for the Talk of the People address entails a number of staff complement and we also take due consideration of their well-being,” Roque added. PSG Commander Jesus Durante III earlier confirmed that a number of his members were infected with COVID-19. Out of 160 members, only 45 cases remain active.
He, however, assured that these guards are not closely detailed with the president and that they are stationed around Malacañang grounds, making their exposure to possible COVID-19 cases inevitable. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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