Khmer Times/ Ven Rathavong Tuesday, 13 December 2016 6686 views

Filipinos Protest Duterte’s Arrival

Six Filipinos yesterday held a brief demonstration, protesting the arrival of the country’s president Rodrigo Duterte and criticizing him over his war on drugs. 

The protest, which only lasted several minutes, saw six Filipinos gather at the Royal Palace holding banners and placards calling for a stop to drug-related killings by police as well as to the state-endorsed vigilante-style murders. 

All six protesters, who had their faces covered and refused to speak to the media, issued a statement urging Mr. Duterte to end his bloody crackdown on those entangled in the country’s drug trade. 

“Since Mr. Duterte came to power as the president of the Philippines in July 2016, over 6,000 people have been murdered in the name of his war on drugs,” the statement read. 

“Many of them voluntarily surrendered, only to be arrested and killed in alleged shoot-outs with the police. Some of those killed have been proven to be innocent.

“This madness must end! Addiction is not a crime. Summary execution is not the solution to a drug problem that is rooted in poverty and hopelessness,” it added. 

Mr. Duterte, along with Filipino boxer-turned politician Manny Pacquiao, arrives in Cambodia today. 

During his two-day visit, Mr. Duterte is expected to meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen to sign agreements on “Cooperation in Combating Transnational Crime” and “Sports Cooperation,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. 

According to Human Rights Watch’s Asia division deputy director Phelim Kine, the Philippines National Police has killed 2,000 Filipinos while unidentified gunmen have killed 4,000 more, PBS reported on Friday. 

There has been international outcry over Mr. Duterte’s radical ways, with United Nations special rapporteur for summary executions Agnes Callamard urging an end to the killings, insisting that drug-trafficking offenders be tried in court and not by gunmen in the streets. 

Mr. Hun Sen, however, has mentioned Mr. Duterte fondly in the past, saying in September that he too was tired of foreign interference in Cambodia.

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