|Photo by Radyo Inquirer|
This was the plea of several human rights advocates to President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday.
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend) emphasized the need to deal with the cause of drug addiction in the Philippines-poverty.
Nearly 30 private groups gathered in Quezon City on Friday to launch iDefend, with the intention of “filling a vacuum” left by the collapse of political opposition and also to provide legal services to families of victims of extrajudicial killings.
Former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, spokesperson for iDefend, claimed that the movement was intended to show the administration that there were people who opposed its strategy of putting drug suspects to death.
Bello also said that the movement was to remind the current administration of international human rights treaties.
Most studies have shown that while only a small minority of the poor are drug users, illegal drug use is most prevalent among the poor and underprivileged, and the most likely reason is to escape from the harsh realities of poverty, hopelessness and powerlessness,” he said.
He also said that the president was “simply addressing the symptoms instead of the principal cause of illegal drug use,”
“The administration doesn’t even know the scale of the problem it is dealing with … Getting rid of drugs and crime by extrajudicial murder won’t be accomplished in the promised three to six months. It won’t be finished in six years,” he added.
The former lawmaker said that unless the government generates jobs for all to enable them to live in dignity, the drug problem will persist.
“It all boils down to a war against the poor.” Bello said. MJM
Human rights advocates to Duterte: War on drugs or human rights? Reviewed by FilipiNews PH on Saturday, August 13, 2016 Rating: