An alliance of artists and journalists asked newly-appointed Interagency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD) co-chairperson, Vice President Leni Robredo, to include among her top priorities stopping and investigating “what is clearly a policy of disinformation, misinformation and information manipulation surrounding the government’s drug war.”
In a statement, the Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI) asked Robredo to seek disclosures to many pressing questions on the drug war, particularly the unsolved deaths of tens of thousands of victims.
The group asked Robredo the following:
1. Who are
the country’s biggest druglords, and the status of investigations or
prosecutions against them, if any? Who are the officials protecting or
providing them with lenient, special treatment?
2. What information does the ICAD member-agencies have regarding the entry of illegal drugs from abroad, and what steps they have taken to stop them?
3. What is the status of investigations or prosecutions against former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon in connection with the disappearance of billions worth of shabu, against “ninja cops” led by former Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde, and other top officials, and those who gifted three convicted Chinese drug lords with early release?
4. What is the status of investigations or prosecutions into the “narco lists” publicized by the president?
5. What is the status of investigations or prosecutions into every case of extrajudicial killing or deaths in the hands of the police?
6. What is the status of investigations or prosecutions into policemen identified as perpetrators of extrajudicial killings?
7. Who are the other convicted top drug lords freed under BuCor Directors Bato dela Rosa and Faeldon?
8. Where are the lists and actual inventories of shabu and illegal drugs seized by police in their operations?
9. Which private drug testing companies are involved in the many drug testing activities of government, the amount of taxpayer funds provided to them, and the status of all private/personal medical information in the possession?
“The answers to these and many other questions are important in assessing the conduct of the so-called drug war. Agencies and officials of government are duty-bound to provide the answers to taxpayers and all citizens,” LODI said.
The group also asked Robredo to press ICAD member-agencies to be open to public feedback and criticism and to invite in her capacity as ICAD co-chair United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs “so they could do their work, provide government and the public an independent view, and make their recommendations.”
In November 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to slap UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard should she decide to push through with her investigations on the drug war.
Speaking to overseas Filipino workers in Vietnam, Duterte said, “Kaya sabi ko kay Callamard, kung imbestigahan mo ako, sampalin kita. “ (That’s why I told Callamard, if you investigate me, I’ll slap you.)
Meanwhile, Robredo presided over her first ICAD briefing on Friday, reminding law enforcement agencies to reconsider current drug war strategies to prevent “senseless killings.”
Robredo said the new anti-illegal drug campaign should target the drug problem, not “our people.”
“Maybe it’s time to think about a new campaign with something more effective, where no one dies senselessly,” Robredo told attending officials in the briefing.
Earlier, Robredo promised that “[t]he anti-drug campaign will continue with the same vigor, intensity.”
“What we will change is the manner by which it is implemented,” Robredo added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)