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Drug war’s collateral damage

opinion / Latest Opinion
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Drug war’s collateral damage

/ 05:10 AM August 25, 2017

Stop peddling the lie that our streets our safer now. If they were, many children who have been casualties of this drug war would still be alive now. The murder of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos is only the latest—we have at least 31 Filipinos aged 18 years and younger who are now dead because of police operations or vigilante-style killings. They are not collateral damage—they are victims, as well. This war on drugs, as we have already seen before, is a war against the poor, against those who do not have access to justice, and against our youth.

Safety isn’t just being able to walk alone at night without fear of being a victim of crime. It is also in being able to do the same knowing that our law enforcers will be ready and able to protect you. Right now, one thing is clear: We are far from being
safe and secure.

In August 2016, two months after this new administration took office, I—together with my colleagues Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin and Camarines Sur Rep. Gabby Bordado—filed a resolution in the House of Representatives directing the committee on justice to conduct an inquiry on the upsurge of extrajudicial killings and summary executions that have occurred during that time. Now, the numbers have risen. More people—including children like Althea Barbon (4 years old), Danica May Garcia and Francis Mañosca (5 years old), San Niño Batucan (7 years old), and many others—have been killed. One year after, our resolution has not been acted upon. No hearings have been scheduled, no law enforcers have been called on to explain these incidents. I once again call on my colleagues in Congress to investigate these cases and hold the perpetrators accountable.
We must stop the killings and reclaim our humanity. Huwag muling payagang umiral ang dilim.

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REP. KAKA BAG-AO,
Lone District, Dinagat Islands

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TAGS: collateral damage, drug war, Kian Loyd delos Santos, vigilante-style killings
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