Issue of May 14, 2017
Mt. Province

66th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Leaders of int’l HR group asks DOJ sec to investigate EJKs
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Call it wishful thinking, but heads of the internal human rights watchdog Amnesty International has written Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre to investigate extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

The letter, signed by AI heads in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Taiwan and the USA, urged Aguirre to send a strong message that killing of alleged drug offenders is never justified.

As a DOJ secretary, the AI asked Aguirre to investigate the killings; to make the result of the investigation public; thereafter prosecute those involved in the killings.

Citing the research the AI conducted, the group said many of these killings either directly involved the police or civilians who were hired by the police to kill.

Amidst the present administration’s unyielding war on drugs, the AI warned that the unsolved killings may already be a crime against humanity.

“Our research has shown that most of those that have been killed are men from urban poor communities, in effect making what is officially portrayed as ‘war on drugs’ a war on the poor,” the AI said pointing out that the killings has devastating impacts on children and other people orphaned by people suspected to be involved in drugs.

Instead of viewing drug use as a crime, AI said it should be treated as a public health concern.

“Anti-drug operations have violated the non-derogable right to life and undermined the people’s right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, forcing many of those who use drugs and who have not fallen to extrajudicial executions into involuntary and inadequate rehabilitation programs. This has also meant that testing and treatment services are inaccessible to the vast majority of drug users,” the AI explained in their letter to Aguirre.

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Drug test still mandatory for gov’t employees, applicants

Baguio Country Club
Department of Tourism – CAR
University of Baguio
Venus Parkview Hotel

Congressman Mark O. Go
Department of Health – CAR
Kings College of the Philippines
Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan
Narda’s Handwoven Arts & Crafts Inc.
Philex Mining Corporation
Pines City Colleges
Province of Benguet
Sangguniang Panlungsod
SM City Baguio
Social Security System

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Central University
Baguio Heart and Lung Diagnostic Center Inc.
Baguio Memorial Chapels Incorporated
Baguio Water District
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – CAR
C & Triple A Supermart
Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan
Curamed Pharmacy
Data Center College of the Philippines of Baguio City Inc.
Department of Agriculture – CAR
Department of Environment and Natural Resources – CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Department of Transportation – CAR
Easter College Incorporated
Fabulo Beauty and Image Salon
Fast East Pacific Commercial
Filipino–Japanese Friendship Association of Northern Luzon, Inc.
GMS Technology
Immigration Network Services, Inc.
La Funeraria Paz, Inc.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
MMS Development Training Center Corporation
Mother Earth Deli Basket
National Economic & Development Authority–CAR
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
Philippine Science High School – CARC
R.A. Gapuz Review Center
Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board – CAR
Solibao – Ganza Restaurant
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority

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