Manila’s war on drugs ‘will respect human rights’ – Isko Moreno

Lian Buan

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Manila’s war on drugs ‘will respect human rights’ – Isko Moreno

Lisa Marie David

‘We will support the war on drugs in a manner that is within the bounds of the law,' says Manila mayoral bet Isko Moreno

MANILA, Philippines – Mayoral bet Isko Moreno Domagoso said on Friday, May 10, that if elected, he will make sure that the implementation of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs in Manila will respect human rights.

“We will respect human rights. As my personal belief, Diyos lang ang may karapatang kumitil ng buhay. At hindi tayo papayag sa kung may mga sinong indibidwal ang aabuso,” Moreno told Rappler on the sidelines of one of his miting de avance held in Pandacan Friday night.

(Only God has the right to take a life. And we will not allow abuse by any individual.)

Moreno, who split from an alliance with incumbent mayor and former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada, said that while he supports the administration’s war on drugs, he will make sure there are no abuses.

“We will support the war on drugs in a manner that it is within the bounds of the law, and interests of the people will be  protected. Not only their interests but also their rights,” Moreno said.

Killing fields

Manila has been a killing field in the bloody war on drugs.

While the police did not publicly release the breakdown per city of the over 5,000 deaths from police operations, many controversial cases have been documented in the city by human rights groups and media.

Rappler investigated summary executions in Tondo, where families of slain drug personalities identified a local Manila cop behind the killings. In another report, Rappler investigated the links of local Manila police to vigilantes also in Tondo.

Recently, the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the filing of murder charges against Manila cops for killing an epileptic. 

There was also the controversy of the secret cell in a local Manila police station.

In deaths outside police operations, Manila ranks the highest in Metro Manila with 161 killings. 

Moreno said that while cops have a right to self-defense, they must train how to assess situations better.

“Siyempre hindi naman pwedeng ma-agrabyado ‘yung mga alagad ng batas na nagpapatupad ng batas… Hahabaan nila ang pasensya nila at aralin nila maigi yung sitwasyon. Atany rate we will not tolerate abuse on both sides,” said Moreno. (Of course our law enforcers can’t be aggrieved, but they should extend their patience, study situations well.)

Will there be fewer killings in Manila if he is elected?

“Well, we cannot say that, baka mamaya may mag-abuso, mga enterprising individual, (maybe an enterprising individual will abuse that) so we really have to be every careful in addressing this. The  least that we can do is [to ensure that] abuse should not [be prevalent] in Manila, rights should be protected on both ends – the criminal [side] and enforcement,” he said. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.