Survey says 76% of Pinoys believe drug war marred by human rights abuses

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MANILA, Philippines — A Social Weather Station (SWS) survey  on Monday said around 76 percent of Filipinos believe that the Duterte administration’s drug war is marred by human rights abuses.

Conducted last December to 13 to 16, 2019, but released only  on Monday, January 13, the survey revealed that only 24 percent said there were few human rights abuses in the implementation of the drug war.

The SWS survey said, of the 76 percent , 42 percent  noted there were somewhat many human rights abuses, while 33 percent  indicated there were many.

On the other hand, 24 percent of those who said there were few human rights violations is broken down as follows — 21 percent said there were only a few while 3 percent said there were very few.

The same SWS survey also showed that 56 percent of Filipinos are in favor of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) probing the alleged extrajudicial killings brought about by the drug war.

Of the 56 percent who agreed, 21 percent of them strongly agree, while 34 percent of them somewhat agree.

As for those 20 percent who disagreed with the UN HRC, 11 percent somewhat disagreed while 9 percent strongly disagreed.

Another 24 percent were undecided on the matter.

The question on UNHRC’s role stemmed from the Iceland-initiated Resolution adopted by the UNHRC in July 2019 which urges the Philippine government to do the following:

· take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings

· carry out impartial investigations

· hold perpetrators responsible

· cooperate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, among others.

The same Resolution also requested UN HRC High Commissioner to prepare a comprehensive written report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines.

Based on police records, over 6,700 drug suspects have been killed since the drug war started in July 2016—all of them killed without facing charges or trial.

The 6,700 does not include those drug related deaths perpetrated by unidentified gunmen. If these killings will be included, human rights groups have argued that the drug war killings under the Duterte administration will go high as 20,000.

The SWS’s non-commissioned poll was conducted using face-to-face interviews on 1,200 adults aged 18 years old and above nationwide. Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao each had 300 respondents.

The SWS survey’s margin of error was 3 percent.

The area estimates were weighted by the Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2019 to obtain the national estimates.

The SWS survey was conducted almost three weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte fired Vice President Leni Robredo as Inter-Agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs (ICAD) co-chairperson for supposedly being a failure.

Robredo served as ICAD co-chair for 19 days, including the day that she accepted the post on November 6, 2019.

During her brief stint, the Vice President paid a visit to drug-infested communities, appealed to the residents to help the government in eradicating illegal drugs, visited community-based rehabilitation centers and met with government officials and non-government entities, including the US government authorities, in search of data on drug use, drug supply, drug personalities and drug rehabilitation centers in the country.

Robredo, however, was denied access to high value targets of the drug war by no less than Duterte on the argument that she can’t be trusted.

When she first convened the ICAD, Robredo has also called on the ICAD members to ensure zero drug-related deaths. (Stacy Ang/JGo/Currentph.com)

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