Press Release
March 3, 2017


*Latest statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros

President Rodrigo Duterte has no right and authority to declare who among the Filipino people "have no humanity." President Duterte was elected as chief executive to run a country according to the basic tenets of human rights, he must do that towards all citizens without exception.

President Duterte must understand that humanity and/or the right to human dignity is inviolable. This government must respect and safeguard the dignity of the human person; the right of each and everyone to human dignity is the basis of many inalienable rights and the foundation of freedom, justice and peace.

President Duterte's war on drugs is not based on the people's right to human dignity. It is inhumane, abusive, and corrupt. It kills many innocent lives and leaves hundreds of orphans in its wake. Its actors are protected from accountability. It is distorted into murder in the guise of law enforcement.

It is distorted into a war against humanity, a war against law and order, a war against freedom, justice and peace.

I believe that is the message of the latest reports released by the Human Rights Watch and the United Nations' International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

If President Duterte is determined to address the country's problem with crimes and illegal drug trafficking, he should subscribe to proper and modern law enforcement. This includes the protection of human rights and observance of the rule of law, and the promotion of public health strategies against substance abuse. Across the world, this has been proven the best approach to crime and illegal drugs. He should understand that crime is rooted in inequality and poverty, and to address social issues is to get to the root of crime. An efficient, fair and effective justice system is a better deterrent against crime, and our justice system will only succeed if the officials at its helm are not assailed by corruption scandals.

There are no shortcuts in a democracy.

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