Press Release
August 18, 2017


Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday condemned the series of killings due to police operations that led to 32 deaths in Bulacan, and at least 20 in Manila. The Senator also condemned the killing of Grade 11 student Kian Loyd delos Santos of Caloocan, one of the youngest victims of the President's war-on-drugs.

"Lahat ba nanlaban?" Hontiveros asked expressing her disbelief to the outcomes of the said police operations.

The Senator also expressed grave concern over the government's attitude. "This butchery does not deserve a pat-on-the-back from the President. It deserves an investigation", she said. "Duterte commending 32 deaths and dismissing innocent lives lost as collateral damage reinforce impunity among our state forces," she added.

Since Duterte's first day in office, 8,000-12,000 deaths due to the war-on-drugs have been recorded. Hontiveros said that the President "cannot kill his way out of the drug problem."

Hontiveros also appealed to the Philippine National Police to respect and uphold human rights. "I know of many decent policemen and women who are faithful to their duty to serve and protect. Let not the murderous tendencies of one man transform you into a killing machine," she urged the PNP.

Hontiveros said that a purely punitive and criminal lens in the President's war-on-drugs is bound to fail. The President recently admitted that he made a mistake in promising an end to the drug problem in 6 months.

"The country paid a very dear price for the President's error: at least 8,000 deaths. The Duterte government cannot kill its way out of the drug problem. This bloodthirsty attitude must end," the Senator said.

"Sa ilang sachet ng shabu, patay ka kaagad. Pero sa kilo-kilong shabu galing Tsina, tikom ang bibig. Nakakabahala na ang mga mahihirap at mga small-time pusher at user ang mga nabibiktima ng war-on-drugs na ito," Hontiveros added.

The Senator from Akbayan also urged the public to not get desensitized to the killings." Our countrymen and women are being butchered as night falls," she said. "We must refuse to accept these killings as normal," Hontiveros concluded.

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