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Chito Gascon, Chair of the Philippines Human Rights Commission
Feb. 21, 2017

On repression in the Philippines:
  • “The Philippine case is a case of how quickly. . . institutions such as rule of law, human rights, separation of powers, can be . . . undermined if we do not continue to draw the line.”
  • “It is barely 7 months since [Rodrigo Duterte] assumed office. . . He undertook a relentless strong arm campaign against crime and drugs. It has resulted in close to 7,000 deaths. Two thirds were committed by unknown perpetrators and one third have been killed in the hands of law enforcement. They claim in every single case it was a self defense case. This pogrom is continuing to this day. There is no let up in this anti-drug, anti-crime campaign. It represents an unprecedented number of killings not since the authoritarian regime – 1,000 people killed each month!”
  • “If this program continues, we are greatly afraid that violence will spread, and not only criminals will be attacked, but those in opposition to Duterte’s policy. Over the weekend, the staunchest opponent of this policy, Senator Leila de Lima, has been charged by the Department of Justice for alleged involvement in drugs. But the evidence that has been presented is actually non-consequential; and we view this to be essentially a political harassment. . .”