FORMER Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales on Saturday said the rampant killings in the country are encouraged by President Rodrigo Duterte.
From July 2016 to January 2017, their data showed that 2,555 suspected drug personalities were killed.
In the same period, she said, a total of 4,146 people were murdered outside police operations. Some 3,271 murder cases are under investigation, mostly by the CHR.
To support her claim of Duterte-inspired killings, she said the President assured the police that he would support them if cases are filed against them.
Rosales was invited to speak in the forum “So Ano na?” organized by lawyer Vincent Isles of Silent Majority Cebu at Ecotech Center, Lahug, Cebu City.
Rosales said they support the advocacy of the bishops, priests and peace-loving people to “Stop the Killing, Start the Healing.”
Lawyer Democrito Barcenas yesterday said that the estimated 500 people of Silent Majority Cebu oppose illegal arrests and killings.
Barcenas, who was imprisoned for three months during martial law under the late President Ferdinand Marcos, believed that more people will soon come out in the open to voice their opposition to the abuses.
“We cannot be silent anymore in the face of oppression. We cannot be silent anymore in the face of injustice. We cannot be silent anymore in the face of extrajudicial killings. And we will fight to the finish to defend democracy,” Barcenas said.
The lawyer said that the greatest enemy of democracy is apathy or public indifference.
They are silent even if their neighbors are shot dead because it’s not happening to them, Barcenas added.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 17, 2017.
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