The former police chief now health undersecretary is among the brains of the bloody “Oplan Tokhang,” the drug war that former President Rodrigo Duterte waged during his administration that led to the killing of over 30,000 people.
Apart from supporting the ICC probe, families of tokhang victims say it’s also important for the country’s next leaders to have concrete plans and programs for the victims of President Duterte’s drug war. Their plight and search for justice must be acknowledged at the very least.
A group of human rights lawyers in the Philippines said that the “overwhelming support” that the International Criminal Court received from approximately 1,530 individual victims and 1,050 families who fell victims of the government’s “war on drugs” may lead to a formal investigation.
“We will not just cry, sit down and do nothing. We are victims who have learned to fight for justice not only for ourselves but for the other families as well.”
“I was so elated that I could barely sleep. I’m thinking that ‘this is it!’ Our long wait for justice is finally coming to light.”
When your voice no longer bears the weight
of what you must say, then language must have gone away,
or forcibly buried underground,
silenced the fascist way.
Police were serving search warrants in Cavite, Rizal, Batangas and Laguna at 4 a.m.
“Not only does it violate basic civil rights by arbitrarily judging people sans due process, it also poses a real danger to life and limb given the trail of bodies tokhang has left in the drug war.”
Cerbito is among the countless victims of the Duterte administration’s “war against illegal drugs,” which only targeted the poor, according to its critics.
“The Philippine government cannot just simply throw all consistent and persistent accounts of violations and frustrations with domestic remedies through the token of another washing machine to discombobulate the mind and deodorize the foul stink.”
Neri Colmenares, NUPL chairperson, believes that the case against Duterte is strong. “First, he publicly ordered the killings… Second, he refuses to be investigated. Third, the government does not submit evidence to the ICC.”