Amnesty International alarmed over bill presuming drug suspects guilty

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ONLINE PEDDLERS OF INJECTIBLE SHABU ARRESTED / FEBRUARY 20, 2020 Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Special Enforcement Service arrest drug pushers allegedly selling liquid “shabu” online in a drug bust operation early morning Thursday in Mandaluyong City. The suspects identified as Mark Kenneth San Juan and Jeffrey Saclao. Authorities also confiscated about two grams of suspected shabu worth P13,600, one digital weighing scale, 26 syringes of shabu in liquid form, measuring about 10.4 milliliters with an aggregate value of P52,000. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Amnesty International (AI) is alarmed over a bill approved at the House of Representatives that allows the presumption of guilt on drug suspects.

 

AI said in a statement issued on Wednesday that House Bill No. 7184 is “a dangerous disregard for human rights guarantees under domestic and international law.”

 

Butch Olano, AI section director, added that House approving the said measure on third and final reading on Tuesday was an “alarming knee-jerk reaction” to the shootout between members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that left a total of five people dead.

 

“HB 7814 further encourages arbitrary arrest and detention of drug suspects and will likely facilitate the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” Olano said.

 

“The lack of judicial supervision that the bill endorses would practically allow security forces to commit further human rights violations with increasing impunity,” he added.

 

“Given its implications, especially in the context where thousands upon thousands have already been killed in the ‘war on drugs’, this bill is an alarming knee-jerk reaction to the PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’ that is more an issue of government intelligence-gathering and protocols than of the law,” he added.

 

AI called on the House to junk HB 7814.

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