SunStar : Marcos Jr. to continue drug war

10 June 2022

By THIRD ANNE PERALTA-MALONZO | SunStar

SWEDEN Ambassador Annika Thunborg said on Friday, June 10, 2022, that incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has vowed to continue the crackdown against illegal drugs of his predecessor, President Rodrigo Duterte, with high respect to human rights and focus on rehabilitation.

In a press conference following her courtesy call to Marcos Jr., Thunborg said among the issues they discussed during their short talk were the rule of law, human rights and the controversial war on drugs.

"We also touched upon political affairs and importance and the strong commitment that has been expressed by the President-elect to conduct the war on drugs within the framework of the law and with respect for human rights and focus on rehabilitation and socio-economic development," she said.

"It’s something that is very much appreciated on my government's side," she added.

Thunborg said they were also able to discuss the vital role of collaboration with other nations to handle challenges such as the global drug trade, transnational crime and the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzales, who also made a courtesy visit to Marcos Jr. the same morning, said the incoming president vowed to support all efforts of the Philippines on the human rights agenda.

He said Marcos Jr. is very much engaged in the conduct of consultation for the nomination of the new commissioner on human rights.

"He also mentioned the importance of ensuring a high level of accountability in terms of human rights," said Gonzales.

"This was quite encouraging and as I mentioned, we reiterate the support of the United Nations," he added.

Earlier, Marcos Jr. said Duterte urged him to continue the fight against illegal drugs in his own way.

The Duterte administration has been in bad light over alleged human rights violations amid the crackdown on illegal drugs, which was launched when Duterte took office in 2016.

Tagged as a bloody drug war due to the thousands of alleged illegal drug suspects killed amid the campaign, the Duterte government has been criticized both locally and internationally.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) earlier launched investigation and proceedings on alleged crimes against humanity of murder in the country amid the administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs.

Duterte maintained that the government will not cooperate with the ICC investigation, noting that the country’s judicial system is working.

He also defended policemen who were accused of involvement in extrajudicial killings related to the drug war. (SunStar Philippines)