Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday called for justice and support for orphans and family members who lost their loved ones to drug war killings on top of improved community-based rehabilitation for drug users to mark the International Human Rights Day, saying it is everybody’s responsibility to ease the burden of their fellowmen.
Robredo made the call during the launching of a special edition of Istorya ng Pag-asa photo gallery featuring the suffering and struggle of the orphaned families, as well as the former drug dependents’ road to recovery, at the Commission on Human Rights office.
One of the former drug dependents cited by Robredo was a certain Al who went from a drug user to being a painter post-rehab and as a teacher to kids who want to learn painting.
“Gusto natin ipakita iyong kahalagahan ng pagbibigay ng pag-asa, iyong value ng community-based rehabilitation, na tayo ay nakikiisa sa mga pamilyang nawalan, na iyong gobyerno ay nariyan sa siguraduhin na magkakaroon ng hustisya,” she said.
“Sa usapin ng karapatang pantao, dapat iyong pamahalaan, nariyan para proteksiyonan ang bawat mamamayan. Sa mga nalabag iyong karapatang pantao, the government should likewise assure the public that justice will be served. Doon naman sa mga nagpakita ng pag-asa, mayroong makatao at makatarungang paraan para gawin iyong kampanya laban sa ilegal na droga. That is what we highlighted today,” Robredo added.
At least 5,700 suspected drug personalities have been killed in the police's anti-drug operations since July 2016, but the said figure does not include drug war related deaths perpetrated by unidentified gunmen.
“Iyong mga pamilyang nandito, tinutulungan na ng aming opisina. At iyong tulong na iyon, patuloy. Patuloy [rin] na naghahanap ng katotohanan, patuloy na naghahanap ng hustisya, patuloy na naghahanap ng paraan para iyong mga nawalan, kahit papaano, gumaan iyong kanilang dala-dala,” Robredo said.
Robredo also lamented that majority of those killed in the drug war were parents who served as breadwinners, making survival even more tough for those left behind.
“Ako, nanay din ako; single mother din, pero hindi dinaanan iyong pinagdaanan nila. Kung sa akin nga mahirap na, lalo na sa kanila. Kaya sa akin, gusto ko na may paghihikayat sa ating mga kababayan na maramdaman na responsibilidad nating lahat na tumulong, lalo na iyong mga mas privileged, na tumulong doon sa nagdadaan sa mga mahihirap na sitwasyon,” Robredo said.
“Ang tulong ng bawat isa, kapag nakagaan lang sa isang buhay, sapat na. Ito, nakita natin ngayong umaga, sila iyong mga widows, iyong ibang orphans nandito. Iyong pagpapaalala lang sa kanila na hindi sila nakakalimutan, malaking bagay na para sa kanila,” she added.
Last week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will finish on its preliminary examination of President Rodrigo Duterte and his key allies due to drug-war related killings which they claimed has reached beyond 10,000 based on the tally of both local in international human rights groups by 2020.
Likewise, the ICC said that it has “significantly advanced” its assessment of whether the drug war killings is a crime against humanity.
The ICC's conduct of preliminary examination stems from a complaint filed by lawyer Jude Sabio before the ICC in May 2017 accusing the President of committing crimes against humanity for the thousands of deaths in his anti-drugs campaign. — RSJ, GMA News