- Solicitor General Jose Calida said the number of slain drug suspects is not enough
- “To me, that is not enough,” Calida said
- Human rights advocates and some lawmakers expressed alarm about the mounting death toll of drug suspects
The country’s top legal defender Solicitor General Jose Calida has encouraged the police to kill more drug suspects as he assured them that he is on their side and will protect them from congressional probe into the killings of drug suspects.
According to an Agence France-Presse piece published by ABS-CBN, the police have confirmed killing over one hundred drug suspects since President Rodrigo Duterte won the elections in May. The president said the war on drugs is going to be a dirty and bloody fight.
Human rights advocates and some lawmakers expressed alarm about the mounting death toll of drug suspect;, saying the war on illicit drugs is spiraling out of control.
Commission on Human Rights head Chito Gascon said they expect the situation to worsen; with more killings of suspected criminals by the police.
“Now we have a president who says that if you are in the police, military, or even an ordinary citizen and you kill a criminal, he will support you. Obviously, with such messages, we anticipate an increase in such violations,” Gascon said.
Senator Leila De Lima, a former Justice Secretary, said she would call for a Senate inquiry into the spate of killings of suspected drug dealers.
SolGen Calida, in response to the criticisms, called a press conference on Monday, July 11, at the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Camp Crame where he insisted on the legality of the police operations against illegal drugs and encouraged more deaths of suspected persons engaged in the drug trade.
“To me, that is not enough,” Calida said of the number of drug dealers killed. “How many drug addicts or pushers are there in the Philippines? Our villages are almost saturated (with drugs).”
“We will not allow anybody to derail this effort of the PNP (Philippine National Police) and its officers to implement the order of our President to stop this drug trafficking, a menace in our society,” he added.