Target: President Rodrigo Duterte
Goal: End the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects that targets the poor and addicted people.
Photos have surfaced of barely-clothed corpses bound and shot execution-style in the streets of the Philippines, all under the guise of a war on drugs. Rehabilitation centers and prisons are overcrowded with drug offenders. Friends and families of victims live in fear of police retaliation and remain silent even after witnessing police abuses and killings.
Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines in May of this year. Out of 2,400 killings since July 1, approximately 900 occurred during police operations and the rest are currently under investigation. The Philippine Internal Affairs Service and Commission on Human Rights have been so overwhelmed by the amount of violent deaths in recent months that they have only been able to investigate approximately 30 percent. President Duterte claims that illegal drugs are “drowning the country” while his efforts and language have incensed both police and vigilantes to take extreme actions against suspected drug dealers and even users.
Elected for his hard stance against illegal drugs, Duterte said during his State of the Nation, “Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars–or below the ground, if they so wish.” He recently made known that he would pardon police accused of human rights violations in his drug war.
The impoverished have been those most affected by the drug war as most operations take place in poorer neighborhoods. As such, nearly 60,000 drug users have surrendered to police to avoid being killed. Sign our petition to demand that these mass killings without trial are brought to an end.
Dear President Duterte,
You were elected on the premise that you would clean up your country. We sympathize with wanting to rid your nation of its drug problem, but you cannot cleanse it with the blood of your people. While your rhetoric has seen many drug users surrender to authorities, it has also created a state of bloodshed unprecedented in recent years. According to police statistics, approximately 44 people have been killed per day since you became president. This is not progress, Mr. President. This is murder.
Whether you believe it or not, these people are human beings just like you. Allowing police and vigilantes to kill them with impunity is criminal. These policies help marginalize your most vulnerable citizens, the poor, by allowing the police to target and kill suspects in their neighborhoods on suspicions alone. Your poor live in fear of retaliation for speaking out against the murders of their family members and neighbors. You must stop this immediately or face becoming the very kind of monster that you claim to battle.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: King Rodriguez