De Lima: Rising deaths of children in drug war makes U.N. probe ‘more urgent’

Aika Rey
De Lima: Rising deaths of children in drug war makes U.N. probe ‘more urgent’
'Dapat nang magising sa katotohanan ang gobyernong ito na walang patutunguhan ang madugong giyera kontra droga,' says Senator Leila de Lima

MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday, July 18, said that the rising death toll of children in the government’s war against illegal drugs made it “even more urgent” for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to conduct a probe.

“Marami nang bata ang nagbuwis ng buhay sa pekeng giyera ni Mr [Rodrigo] Duterte kontra droga at patuloy pa itong tumataas. Kaya lalo’t higit nating kailangan ang pagpasok ng UNHRC para silipin ang mga patayang ito,” De Lima said.

(There are a lot of children lost their lives in Mr Duterte’s fake war against drugs and this number continues to rise. That’s why we need UNHRC even more to come in and investigate these killings.)

According to the Human Rights Watch, local rights monitors estimated that more than 100 children have been killed in the last 3 years of Duterte’s flagship campaign.

De Lima, a former justice secretary and Commission on Human rights chief, reiterated that Duterte’s violent campaign would not end the drug problem in the country.

“Dapat nang magising sa katotohanan ang gobyernong ito na walang patutunguhan ang madugong giyera kontra droga kundi pagdanak ng mas madami pang dugo ng ating mga kabataan at mga walang kalaban-labang Pilipino,” De Lima said.

(This government should wake up to the reality that the bloody war on drugs will not achieve anything, but will only lead to more deaths among our youth and defenseless Filipinos.)

Three-year-old Myca Ulpina is the latest addition to the growing list of minors those killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, either in the crossfire or targeted, as in the case of Kian delos Santos. (LIST: Minors, college students killed in Duterte’s drug war)

At least 6,000 suspected drug personalities have been killed in legitimate police operations, while human rights groups pegged the number to reach more than 20,000 to include those killed vigilante-style.

Iceland earlier succeeded in gathering enough votes at the UNHRC to compel the body to come up with a comprehensive report on the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, including those in the drug war. This will include sending UN missions in the country or to neighboring countries for the review.

But Malacañang and Duterte allies strongly condemned the Iceland resolution, claiming it to be “politically biased.”

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte would still decide if he would “permit” such probe, even if the Philippine leader had consistently bristled over any attempt by an international body to probe his government. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.