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Palace vows to prosecute people behind extrajudicial killings

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 07:44 PM March 04, 2017
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella. (File photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Malacañang made an assurance on Saturday to prosecute and punish individuals behind alleged extrajudicial killings in the county after US State Department released its 2016 Human Rights Report, saying extrajudicial killings “increased sharply” in the Philippines last year.

“The PHL Government is firmly committed to upholding human rights,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement. “Vigilante or extrajudicial killings are unlawful and are therefore not sanctioned. The government condemns such practice.”

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In its report, the US State Department said police and vigilantes in the Philippines “killed more than 6,000 suspected drug dealers and users.”

But Abella said the international community should not be confused with the reported extrajudicial killings and the government’s war on drugs.

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“These are not to be confused with the Government’s war on illegal drugs, which is an urgent and critical domestic matter,” he said.

“An emerging narco state impinges on every Filipino citizen’s right to live in peace and should be dealt with firmly, in conformity to the country’s established human rights principles and in accordance with the rule of law,” he added.

The Palace official said that President Rodrigo Duterte “has ordered the appropriate law enforcement institutions to take decisive legal steps to ensure accountability.”

“We will arrest, investigate, prosecute and punish the scalawags in uniform, while also pursuing reform in these institutions so that they can more effectively conduct this noble crusade,” he said.

“The PHL Government will not shirk from its duty to protect the Filipino people, and ensure that they have a secure, peaceful and bountiful future. We hope the international community will support us in this effort,” he added. /atm

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TAGS: EJKs, Ernesto Abella, extrajudicial killings, Rodrigo Duterte, war on drugs
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