A group of protesters stormed the Philippine consulate in Manhattan on Wednesday to protest the spate of extrajudicial killings as consequence of the war against illegal drugs waged by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
The protest was organized by New York-based advocacy group VOCAL-NY, which actively holds demonstrations in a bid to raise awareness of different issues, the Patch reported.
Rodrigo Duterte’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign
The tough-talking mayor-turned-president is not backing down, despite the surge of opposition his campaign against illegal drugs has received.
A legislative inquiry is underway aiming to investigate the spike of cases of extrajudicial killings across the Philippines since Duterte assumed office on June 30. Local figures reveal that the number of deaths linked to extrajudicial killings has reached 1,800. Hundreds of deaths are adding up each day as Philippine police intensifies its campaign to curb the problem of illegal drugs in the country.
Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines
During the senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano lambasted media outfits in loosely using the term extrajudicial killings, which seemed to discredit the Duterte administration. Cayetano is a known ally of Duterte, and his previous vice presidential running partner during the elections.
In his presentation, Cayetano contended that to have a clear understanding of the extrajudicial killings, stakeholders should define the term in context of the administrative order issued by the previous administration and now top critics of Duterte.
Cayetano explained that Administrative Order No. 35 states that an extra-judicial killing happens when a member of a political, agrarian, labor organization, a media personnel or a belief advocate was killed because of his or her own personal beliefs.
“This means, if you’re a labor leader, or someone working for the media, or a religious leader was killed because of his or her advocacy,” Cayetano highlighted, adding that drug pushers do not belong in this category; hence, extra-judicial killing is a wrong term.
Under the same definition, any crime committed by common criminals was not defined as extrajudicial killings, the Manila-based newspaper Philippine Star reported.
“[The Filipino] people support the anti-drug war, criminals don’t. Criminals and drug pushers spend a lot of money nowadays to discredit this administration so their multi-billion business would continue,” Cayetano was quoted as saying.