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Critics slam revival of drug war in Davao City

LEADING critics of the so-called war on drugs of former president Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday slammed the move of his son, Davao City Mayor Sebastian «Baste» Duterte, to revive the brutal policy.

Critics of Mayor Baste assailed his move after seven drug suspects were killed in separate police operations in the city, under the «leave or die» warning of the younger Duterte to drug dealers and users.

In a statement on Wednesday, Bayan Muna chairman and former lawmaker Neri Colmenares said the revival of the drug war has created a «dangerous environment for the people, resulting in more killings and human rights violations.»

«As long as the death squads are not dismantled, extrajudicial killings will continue. The worst part is that local officials employ this 'drug war' for popularity and gimmick purposes when they know it did not solve the drug problem under Duterte as drugs are still prevalent after six years of EJK,» Colmenares said.

He added that the former president was a «dismal failure» in his drug war, which is why he questions why his son is following in the footsteps of a «loser.»

«We need to make those responsible for these atrocities accountable and not as a source of inspiration,» Colmenares added.

Moreover, he said that if the elder Duterte were to be arrested, convicted and imprisoned by the International Criminal Court, «it may deter officials employing death squads from continuing their brutal practices.»


He suggested the local government dismantle the drug syndicates and the supply side of the drug problem while arresting government officials who serve as «drug syndicate protectors.»

«Again, we demand an end to the revival of the bloody and anti-poor drug war, and we call for the dismantling of death squads, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and rights-based approach to addressing drug-related issues in Davao City as well as the whole country,» Colmenares said.

Human Rights Watch, on the other hand, expressed «deep concern» about Baste Duterte's declaration, as it could worsen the «already dire» human rights situation in the city.

It called on the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to rescind the previous