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Monday, June 24, 2024

‘20,322 killed until 2017 in Duterte drug war’

Shiela Crisostomo – The Philippine Star, June 6, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 20,322 people were killed during Duterte’s war on drugs from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 27, 2017, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said during yesterday’s hearing of the House committee on human rights on the alleged extrajudicial killings (EJK) during the past administration.

Diokno said that of the 20,322 people, 3,967 were killed by police during law enforcement operations while 15,355 were eliminated by “riding in tandem and other unknown persons.”

But Diokno was berated by panel chair Rep. Benny Abante for not initiating the filing of cases against Duterte despite having clients among the relatives of EJK victims.

According to Diokno, those who are “directly aggrieved are very afraid to file cases because they know they are going against a former president.”

To this, Abante replied he was hopeful that such attitude of the victims will change because of the panel’s hearing. He urged the other victims’ families to come forward as the panel wants to help them formally seek justice for their loved ones.

The House committee on human rights will “invite” Duterte to shed light on the EJK in connection with the war on drugs.

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