Amnesty International: Children slain in Philippine war on drugs

Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte has been responsible for a massive anti-drug campaign that has left thousands dead in his country. More children are dying, Amnesty International said Monday. File Pool Photo by Jorge Silva/EPA-EFE

Dec. 5 (UPI) — Dozens of minors are being shot dead as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte continues his war on drugs, according to a recent study.

Amnesty International said the conflict that has culminated in the death of thousands of civilians, since June 2016, has taken its toll on children.

“As many as 60 children have been killed in anti-drug operations since June 2016,” the human rights group said in its report on Monday. “Family members told Amnesty International they witnessed police shoot children dead at point-blank range as they were begging for mercy.”

Amnesty said the International Criminal Court must intervene to “step in and end the carnage on Philippine streets by bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

“The country’s judiciary and police have proven themselves both unwilling and unable to hold the killers in the ‘war on drugs’ to account,” said James Gomez, the group’s regional director.

Minors, including 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in August, have been fatally shot in incidents that police described as self-defense.

In surveillance footage, Kian appeared to have been dragged away by plainclothes policemen, then shot dead in an alleyway.

The Philippine Star reported Tuesday the ban on police involvement in Duterte’s war on drugs is ending.

Police were not allowed to participate in the campaign following the deaths of teenage suspects, according to the report.

Law enforcement is returning to duty after the president signed an order requesting the Philippine National Police to provide “active support” to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Earlier in 2017, Duterte called on the national police to end its anti-drug campaign after the death of Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman.

Philippine police allegedly kidnapped Jee then cremated him before flushing his ashes down a toilet.

Duterte later apologized to Seoul for the incident.


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