16 March 2017
Several members of poor communities, who have felt voiceless and powerless in the face of the killings, have approached our Office to share their stories and ask for help regarding their experiences on the war on drugs. These are the stories that the Vice President spoke about in her video message to the United Nations.
The ordinary course of action would have been for them to go to the police for these complaints to be investigated. The fear that scalawag members of the police force are involved, as documented by human rights groups and as mentioned by the President himself, have made people feel there is nowhere else to go.
Furthermore, it doesn’t help that the public is unaware of the progress, if any, on high profile cases like the Espinosa killing and the South Korean businessman tokhang for ransom victim. High ranking law enforcement officials have also issued public statements dismissing the concerns of victims’ families.
How can we then expect poorer victims to have the courage to speak up and the confidence that the relevant authorities will address their plight?
Our Office has asked the DILG in writing last January 24, copy furnished PNP, for information, particularly on investigations relating to drug killings. Unfortunately, we have not received any response.
We appeal to the administration to focus on what it said it will do: investigate the cases, clean the ranks of the police force, and hold perpetrators accountable.