Friday, January 27, 2017

Families of slain Filipinos file Supreme Court challenge to Rodrigo Duterte’s drugs war | South China Morning Post

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Families of alleged drugs suspects killed by Philippine police petitioned the Supreme Court on Thursday to force police to disclose evidence linking them to narcotics, in the first legal challenge to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Lawyers representing families of four men killed in a run-down Manila neighbourhood in August, and one survivor, urged the top court to allow scrutiny of police operations because the official accounts were “sheer incongruity” and read like film plots “from bygone days of Filipino cinema”.

Duterte’s war on drugs has caused an international outcry, with human rights groups alleging widespread summary executions by police operating with impunity.

The tough-talking president said he would stand by police if suspects were killed because they put up violent resistance.

More than 7,000 people have been killed since Duterte took office seven months ago, about 2,250 in anti-drugs operations and the rest still being investigated. Police say many of those deaths are gangs members killing each other though critics blame many deaths on vigilantes in cahoots with police.

The petition asks the top court to compel police to suspend drugs operations in parts of the Quezon City area of Manila, where the four were killed, and make available the surveillance material and intelligence reports that had initially identified the victims as being drugs dealers. The families deny their kin were involved in drugs.

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