A police raid that resulted in the death of a girl just 3 years old has revived concerns about the "war on drugs" that led for three years the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. Update on the situation.
The funeral of Myka Ulpina was celebrated yesterday.
PHOTO ELOISA LOPEZ, REUTERS
On June 30, a police operation targeting two drug trafficking suspects came to a tragic end in Rodriguez, near Manila. Twenty policemen who participated in the raid were targeting Renato Dolorfina and another man. The girl of the first suspect, little Myka Ulpina, was shot in the head while her father was shot by the police. A police officer also lost his life during the operation. After the incident, the police claimed that Mr. Dolorfina had used the child as a human shield. The child's mother denied this version, claiming that her entire family was asleep when heavily armed police burst into their homes. The government claims that an investigation has been opened and that 20 police officers have been suspended until further notice.
Anger at the president
Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines
PHOTO LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA, ARCHIVES AGENCY FRANCE-PRESS
The announcement of the girl's death has raised a wave of anger among human rights activists who believe that serious human rights violations, arbitrary executions, and even crimes against humanity have been committed. since the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, launched his "war on drugs" in June 2016. "Minors caught in the crossfire in the war on drugs are not collateral damage. They are victims, "spokeswoman for the Philippines Human Rights Commission Ann de Guia said yesterday. " [Myka] would have been 4 years old in July, but her life was cut short by those who promised to protect her, "denounced Mme Guia.
More than 100 children killed
In August 2017, demonstrations were held after the murder of Kian delos Santos, 17 years old.
PHOTO BULLIT MARQUEZ, ARCHIVES ASSOCIATED PRESS
In all, more than 100 children have lost their lives since the beginning of the war on drugs. Among them, little Danica Mary Garcia, 5 years old, died in August 2016, while little Skyler Abatayo, 4 years old, was killed by a stray bullet, in July 2018. This is however the case of Kian delos Santos , 17, who has the most attention. A surveillance video showed that the young man had been arrested by police officers in August 2017 before being found dead in a pigsty. Three police officers were found guilty of murder. This is the only time since the beginning of President Duterte's anti-drug campaign that state officials have been punished, despite the wave of violence sweeping across the country.
66,000 to 277,000 dead
A mother cries over the body of her boy, an alleged drug user, in October 2017.
PHOTO CHRISTMAS CELIS, ARCHIVES AGENCY FRANCE-PRESS
The Philippine authorities acknowledge that at least 66,000 people have been killed in three years as part of President Duterte's "war". Human rights organizations say the toll is nearing the 277,000 dead. When he was elected president, Mr. Duterte, who had already started a violent campaign against drug traffickers and drug users while he was mayor of Davao, said loudly that he was going to execute "dozens of thousands of criminals ". He has promised to leave power "with the same reputation as Ugandan dictator Diy Amin Dada, who is attributed the death of 300,000 people.
The disputed senator
Ronald dela Rosa, former police chief turned senator
PHOTO CHRISTMAS CELIS, ARCHIVES AGENCY FRANCE-PRESS
President Duterte is not the only one to apologize for the wave of deaths linked to the "war on drugs". The former police chief who headed anti-drug operations before being elected senator in May, Ronald dela Rosa, raised the ire yesterday, commenting on the death of little Myka. "We live in an imperfect world. Does a policeman want to slaughter a child? Never, he has it himself! But sometimes, during an operation, things degenerate[[shit happens]Said the senator. Opposition politicians and lawyers immediately decried his remarks and trivialized the death of the child.
Orphans of war
Little Jimji, 6, mourns the loss of her father surrounded by other family members.
PHOTO DANIEL BEREHULAK, THE NEW YORK TIMES ARCHIVES
In a report released in late June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says President Duterte's "war" is wreaking havoc in the country far beyond the death toll. According to the international organization, thousands of children – orphans or injured – are seriously traumatized or reduced to living on the streets, making a living from small jobs. Some, says the organization, are being held in cages. "For the last three years, it has not stopped, and we are starting to see the longer-term impacts, especially on children, whom we did not see three years ago. Also, violence is spreading more and more outside the capital, but it is less covered by the media and is therefore less visible, "he said. Pressyesterday, Carlos Conde, HRW researcher who signed the report on the minor victims of the "war on drugs".
A resolution at the United Nations
Police say two packets of drugs were found in the pockets of this man, shot in August 2017 by agents.
PHOTO ERIK DE CASTRO, REUTERS ARCHIVES
In the light of recent events, HRW hopes that the Human Rights Council, currently in Geneva, will adopt a resolution put forward by Iceland and requesting the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to man to investigate the Philippines. "For us, it would be a first step in the right direction. Next year, the Council could do more with a report in hand, "said Carlos Conde of HRW. "We want to end this war on drugs and this senseless killing. It seems that the President of the Philippines has another idea in mind. The latter promises instead to work hard to carry out his "mission". He says he's even ready to go to jail. "I am not afraid of human rights concerns. I will not allow my country to go into a spin, "said Duterte.
– With Release, Reuters and Rappler
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