MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has called for a probe into the killings of suspected drug dealers amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s vow of relentless campaign against illegal drugs.
“It must not be forgotten that regardless of whether or not the victim is a drug offender, unjustified killing is murder nonetheless,” the IBP said in a statement, adding those responsible for the killings must be held accountable.
While the IBP praised Duterte for opening the eyes of the nation on the severity of drug menace, the country’s mandatory organization of lawyers said the rule of law must prevail when dealing with the problem.
“It is at times such as these, when the temptation to take extralegal measures is at its height, that our conviction to abide by this principle must likewise be at its strongest,” the group said.
The IBP then warned that “the abuse of authority is equally criminal.”
After taking power on June 30, Duterte unleashed an intensified campaign against illegal drug syndicates that saw him naming in public more than a hundred government officials, policemen and judges allegedly involved in the trade.
He also threatened drug lords and their protectors with death, raising concerns among several quarters including human rights groups.
Various tallies put the number of slain drug suspects to over 500 since Duterte assumed office on June 30.(MNS)