Women lawmakers from the Liberal Party (LP) decried the unabated killings of suspected drug peddlers, saying it is tantamount to rejecting rule of law.
Representatives Henedina Abad of Batanes; Josephine Ramirez-Sato of Occidental Mindoro; Arlene Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands; Josie Limkaichong of Negros Oriental and Geraldine Roman of Bataan cited the cases of Jefferson Bunuan and Rowena Tiamson who died amid the administration’s intensified war against illegal drugs even if they have not been convicted.
“Hundreds of Filipinos have been killed among us, many of them unproven drug pushers or addicts, and all of them denied their right to due process or the chance to defend themselves. This is unacceptable. We earnestly call upon our colleagues and the leadership of the Philippine Congress to launch a swift and thorough investigation of these summary executions, as well as to denounce all illegal measures to fight drug trafficking,” they said in a statement.
“While we support the administration’s efforts to address the drug problem in the country, we also believe that the rule of law must not be sacrificed in favor of expediency. We oppose in no uncertain terms such grave abuses against our most fundamental rights. We believe that these rights—to a fair trial, to due process, and ultimately, to justice—belong appropriately to all Filipinos, whether they be victims,” they added.
They stressed that children should not grow up in a society where violence is condoned.
“The recent spate of killings, a significant number of which has been carried out by the police, is a sure and dangerous rejection of the rule of law. What will become of our justice system if those tasked to implement the law are the very ones who subvert it? Who now decides who is guilty or not in the absence of due process?”
the women lawmakers said. “We cannot permit this. How can we ensure the security of our loved ones when innocent Filipinos are being slain? How can we truthfully say that we feel safe? The summary executions are a false solution. In the long term, human rights abuses can only hurt our country and its potential for genuine peace and prosperity.”