CHR: Evidences suggest intent to kill in “anti-drug campaign”
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) pointed out in a report yesterday that evidences suggest intent to kill in cases of killings linked to the Duterte regime’s “anti-drug campaign.” Although only 87 victims of the cases it reviewed had records containing information on the wounds or injuries found, it was observed that most of them sustained gunshot wounds on the head, chest, trunk and abdomen, which suggest the perpetrators’ intent to kill. Blunt force and injury and lacerations were also found on some of the victims.
According to the CHR, it was able to record a total of 579 incidents and 870 victims in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon mula since the start of the campaign in 2016 to February 2020.
At least 71 of the victims are women, and 24 are minors. Approximately 451 incidents which killed 705 victims were attributed to police operations, and 104 were perpetrated by unidentified suspects, while 24 incidents have no sufficient information.
Out of this number, the police claims 466 individuals “fought back.” Only two percent of the victims or 11 individuals survived the “nanlaban” incidents.
The commission also observed that 77 out of 90 police reports on these operations contained recomendations that operatives involved in the said killings are either to be “awarded, rewarded, or recorgnized.” Some reports also did not match eyewitness accounts which state that alleged “nanlaban victims could not have initiated a shoot-out, while some were said to be already under police custody when they were killed.
The CHR admitted that the data it released is conservative as their report is only based on the content of the invesigation records submitted to the commission. The commission also experiences obstacles in accessing police records pertaining to the cases. Last week, the Public Interest Law Center has already expressed alarm as “these cases were already sifted, and perhaps cherry-picked.”
Last month, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency reported that 6,191 individuals were killed in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to August 31, 2021, while 307,521 people were arrested. These figures exclude victims killed by the regime’s vigilante groups and death squad.