Lo stesso giorno della nostra riunione il Parlamento europeo ha approvato una risoluzione che chiede la fine delle uccisioni nelle Filippine e il rilascio della Senatrice Leila de Lima, un altro esponente politico critico delle uccisioni extra-gioudiziarie, imprigionata con accuse ampiamente considerate senza fondamento. I critici del vice presidente, tra cui Ferdinand Marcos Jr., figlio del defunto dittatore che ha perso per un soffio con Robredo le elezioni alla vicepresidenza ed è ricordo in tribunale, hanno accusato Robredo di essere la regista di tutti e tre gli eventi e di essere impegnata personalmente in una “campagna di destabilizzazione” contro il governo Duterte per divenir ella stessa presidente.
A breve l’intero filmato dell’evento verrà messo online e diffuso, sperando che, sulla base del dibattito a Vienna, si possa ricondurre la discussione nelle Filippine sul vero tema, quello più importante: le uccisioni extragiudiziali e gli abusi della guerra alla droga commessi dal Presidente – un altro esempio del fallimento del proibizionismo in materia di droghe nelle Filippine, negli Stati Uniti e altrove. Per tenere viva la questione chiunque può dare il suo contributo facendo circolare il video messaggio del vicepresidente sui propri social o sostenendo le nostre attività.
Occorre sfruttare ogni canale per attirare quanta più attenzione possible sulla campagna di morte di Duterte. Grazie
On Thursday, March 16th, we presented “Human Rights Challenge: Responding to Extrajudicial Killings in the Drug War,” a side event at the annual UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna. Our event addressed the situation in the Philippines, in which the new president of the country, former Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, has fulfilled a campaign promise he made to slaughter large numbers of purported drug suspects. More than 7,000 people have been killed by police or vigilantes in the Philippines at the time of this writing, extrajudicially without trial.
The session unexpectedly drew high-level political interest, and Vice President Leni Robredo of the Philippines, opposition leader and a critic of the killings, recorded a video to be presented there. The video and event were covered by TIME as part of being made public (one article featuring the video then another interviewing Robredo). The news wire services Reuters and Agence France Press published articles, as did numerous outlets in the Philippines. At the time of this writing the video has garnered nearly 170,000 views.
Unfortunately, allies of Pres. Duterte as well as other rivals of Vice President Robredo seized on the video to attack her politically, claiming the video constituted a “betrayal of the public trust” that she should be impeached for. Political figures including the Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives and the president’s spokesperson claimed falsely that the video’s release was timed to coincide with the filing by a member of Congress of an impeachment complaint against the president the same week.
On the same day as the session, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for an end to the killings and for the release of Sen. Leila de Lima, another prominent critic of the killings who has been jailed on charges that are widely viewed as unsupported. The critics of the vice president, which include Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator who lost by a narrow margin to Robredo in the vice-presidential election and is challenging it in court, have charged that Robredo was behind all three events and is engaged in a “destabilization campaign” against the Duterte government to make herself president.
By the time the actual session took place, it was already controversial, and the heated political conflict the video prompted has raged in the Philippine media during the weeks since then, only now possibly slowing down. A Google News search on “Robredo” turns up dozens of articles about it, most of them mentioning the video and our UN event. We’ve been able to play a helpful role at times – the Philippine Daily Inquirer published an article last week which primarily featured an interview with our executive director (Group Says Duterte, Not Robredo, Upsetting Int’l Community), shared over 8,800 times so far according to the newspaper’s web site, and several outlets including CNN Philippines published a statement we issued clarifying that the video’s release was not related to the impeachment complaint against the president.
We have full footage from the event prepared, which we are shopping around to major media outlets before posting, but which we hope to make public this week. We hope that seeing the discussion which took place at the actual event will help to turn the discussion in the Philippines back to what’s important: the extrajudicial killings and other abuses in the president’s drug war, and the failure of the drug in the Philippines, the US and elsewhere.
In the meanwhile, you can help by circulating the vice president’s powerful video message on your networks. If you have a web site, you can post an embedded copy of the YouTube video, or you can post it to your social media pages. (When posting to Facebook, we recommend you use this Facebook copy, as we’ve heard that Facebook deprioritizes YouTube videos.)
Also, if you think this work is important, I hope you’ll consider making a financial donation to support it. Because our event is so well known now, in the Philippines and in the circles where people follow this issue, we are in a position I couldn’t have predicted of being able to access media and policymakers; and to use that access to draw increased international attention to Duterte’s killing campaign while helping our allies in the Philippines as they work for human rights. The expenses for this campaign have already been substantial, and the biggest cost is that of being able to keep our own time focused on it. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to give by credit card or PayPal, or visit our About page for other donation options. Thank you for your support.