Stop killings, group urges Duterte

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AN international human rights mission on Monday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to stop his campaign against illegal drugs.

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MESSAGE SENT Members of an international human rights mission hold placards protesting the spate of killings during a news conference on Monday. The group urged the government to stop the war on illegal drugs. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

The delegation was composed of Emilia Toyra, a member of Sweden parliament, Thomas Melta, a former deputy assistant to the Secretary of State on human rights, Arne Lietz, a member of the European Parliament; Benjamin Maxfield, a member of the Australian Labor Party; Giacomo Filibeck, deputy secretary general of Party of European Socialists; Conny Reuter, secretary general of civil society group Solidar; and Konstantin Woinoff, coordinator of Progressive Alliance.

They went to Caloocan City and Navotas City to interview relatives of alleged victims of extra judicial killings, drug addicts and pushers killed during police operations.

“We are here to assess the situation. Like the 49 countries who are members of the United Nations (UN) we are voicing our concern on the huge number of killings. We call on the immediate stoppage of the killings, and allow the UN to investigate without conditions,” Woinoff said in a press conference.

The group also called for the release of Sen. Leila de Lima.

“Senator de Lima was unjustly imprisoned on preposterous charges. She was jailed to silent her and others who would criticize the government,” said Ame, who warned that the Philippines’ trade to Europe might be compromised.

“The rule of law was broken in this country. After our mission here, the minister of trade and the European Parliament will meet and decide what to do with the Philippines.

He said the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) that allows the Philippines to export to the EU without duties or with reduced tariffs might be affected.

The Philippines was granted GSP+ treatment in December 2014.

“The war against drugs is actually the war against poor people,” Toyra said.

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