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Philippines: Families Denounce Extrajudicial Killings Ahead of Human Rights Day Saturday

HeadlineDec 09, 2016

And Saturday is Human Rights Day, observed each year on the anniversary of December 10, 1948, when the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the Philippines, family members of those who have died in extrajudicial killings amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s escalating so-called war on drugs appealed for justice at demonstrations ahead of Saturday’s commemoration. Police have killed at least 2,000 people, and vigilantes have killed at least 3,500 more, since Duterte took office this summer. Tens of thousands more have been arrested or turned themselves over to police out of fear they’d be killed. Human rights groups say many of those killed have been summarily shot and had nothing to do with the drug trade. A recent BuzzFeed investigation reveals the U.S. State Department has continued to send millions of dollars in aid, as well as training and equipment, to the Philippine National Police amid the wave of killings. This is the mother of an 18-year-old victim of the extrajudicial killings.

Grace Fonollera: “We are poor. They will not listen to us. It is pitiful if the poor are killed, because no matter how hard we try to explain, they will not listen to us. They judge us because we are poor, and the case will instantly be closed or dismissed.”

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