The Duterte administration’s war on drugs is a war on the poor, Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo said on Thursday.
The Vice President made the statement during a War on Drugs lecture in commemoration of the death anniversary of the late senator Jose Diokno held at the De La Salle University College of Law.
“There is a brewing climate of fear among our countrymen, especially among the poor. And how can they not be afraid? The war on drugs is increasingly a war against the poor. We have to be vigilant against the dehumanization of the poor, the way the most vulnerable in our society are treated as disposable facts,” Robredo said.
At least 7,000 drug dependents were killed in the last seven months as a result of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs–a kill list that included children–and who were all killed without charges and trial.
Robredo said victims of war on drugs who sought her office’s assistance told her that they were rounded up twice in a basketball court, the women separated from the men, those with tattoos asked to stand in a corner, their belongings searched.
Others were told they did not have the right to demand a search warrant because they were squatters and did not own the property on which their houses were built.
Worse, some fell into a palit-ulo scheme where the wife or husband or relative of a person on a so-called drug list would be taken in if the person himself on the list could not be found.
“Filipinos in the margins are up against our apathy and inaction. They are up against the dangerous lie that their lives do not matter. We need to stop this. Our rights and liberties must not discriminate against class and social standing,” Robredo pointed out.
LLANESCA T. PANTI