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Resolution of Denpasar – Upholding the Right to Life, Dignity and Human Security

The Progressive Alliance Seminar in Denpasar, Indonesia, took place on 19-20 September 2016

Progressive Alliance condemns Anti-Poor Slant of the Philippine Campaign on Drugs, and Urging the Government of Rodrigo Duterte to Address the Alarming Increase in Extra Judicial Killings Resulting from this Campaign

Recognizing that a convincing plurality of voters provided Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte with an unquestionable mandate in a tightly-fought electoral contest generally characterized by observers such as the International Observers’ Mission (IOM) as being peaceful and produced legitimate results;

Taking note that a crucial pillar of Duterte’s campaign platform was the eradication of drugs and criminality which captured the imagination of the electorate and contributed to the success of his bid to become Philippine president;

Recounting that no sooner than Duterte has won the elections did news reports started surfacing that individuals suspected of involvement in the drug trade, whether as users or pushers, were being killed by unknown assailants, and later on, in police operations;

Realizing that as of the early half of September, more than 3,000 deaths have been reported, translating into 46 deaths a day or one killing every 30 minutes, and no less than the Philippine police chief has issued directives to the police to meet a target of 1.8 million surrenderers within six months which raise the spectre of more deaths to come;

Worrying that individuals and groups that have come out to stand strongly against these killings have been relentlessly attacked and maliciously branded as coddlers and supporters of drug lords, such as was the case with the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and the Senate Committee on Justice which has initiated an investigation into the killings;

Observing that similar attacks have been made against our sister party Akbayan, and its leaders, notably Senator Risa Hontiveros, Rep. Tom Villarin, Chairperson Emeritus Etta Rosales, and Executive Committee member Sylvia Estrada-Claudio, after they made public statements against the war on drugs and called attention to the killings;

Concerned that leaders and governments less inclined towards the right to life, dignity, democracy, human rights to security in the region and the world over, would cite the perverted success of Duterte’s policy, as a guise to abuse executive power, and legitimizing inhumane and savage killings, whilst building popular political support, thereby regressing the global struggle for universal human rights;

We, the various political parties from the Progressive Alliance proclaim our steadfast opposition to any Campaign on Drugs that puts primacy on the employment of violence and want on disregard for the rule of law and observance of due processes, and issue the following calls for President Duterte and his administration to:

  1. Desist from language and pronouncements that explicitly condone the killing of suspected drug users and pushers and other perpetrators of petty crimes, and branding those who oppose his campaign as protectors of drug trade lords and coddlers;
  2. Craft and implement humane and preventive public health policies and work with various stakeholders such as the church, academe, health professionals and communities as a strategic solution as a means to combat the problem of drugs in the Philippines;
  3. Respect the country’s commitments to various human rights instruments to which the Philippines is a state party such as those on Civil and Political Rights, Convention against Torture and Others Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment, Convention on the Rights of the Child, among others;
  4. Act swiftly and conduct a thorough, fair and transparent investigation into the cases of extra judicial killings happening as a result of the War on Drugs;
  5. Bring the perpetrators of these extra judicial killings to justice whether they turn out to be state or non-state actors;
  6. Protect the young and the youth from living through an age of state imposed terror and government sanctioned killings, and mitigate the social scars that will be seen and felt for generations to come; and
  7. Make reparations and provide indemnification to the victims of these extra judicial killings in order to provide relief and initial measures towards justice for a campaign that has only claimed the lives of the poor, and not necessarily the guilty.
Resolution Philippines