Sunday, June 24, 2018 | ePaper

Thousands protest deadly drug war in the Philippines

  • Print


Thousand of people staged demonstration to protest Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte deadly drug war in Manila on Saturday.

Al Jazeera News  :
Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Manila to protest Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war, which has left thousands of people dead, and to express their opposition to plans to change the constitution.
Catholic groups held a pre-dawn "walk for life" on Saturday against the drug killings, as well as the proposed restoration of the death penalty.
In his message, Luis Antonio Tagle, the cardinal of Manila, denounced the growing "throwaway culture", which he said has left many "casualties" including human lives.
 "We will not tire in walking for life even if the path ahead is winding and soaked in blood," Tagle said in Filipino, without directly referring to Duterte's drug war.
The church-led protest took place as the country celebrated the anniversary of the 1986 popular revolt, which ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and ended his 20-year rule.  
Since Duterte came into office in 2016, the Catholic church has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of his deadly anti-drug policy. The death toll in the drug war already surpassed 20,000 in the first 20 months of the Duterte presidency, according to an opposition senator.  
The government insists the death toll is much lower at 3,967 between July 1, 2016 to November 27, 2017.
In a video clip posted by online news site Rappler, Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo said Filipinos should not be indifferent, whether the number of drug war deaths is big or small.
"It's not about the numbers, because the policy continues," Pabillo told reporters. "If we are not vigilant, it's possible that the killings will escalate. So we should not ignore this."
More than 80 percent of the 101 million Filipinos are Catholics. But Duterte has managed to fend off criticism from the church, calling church leaders "hypocrites".
The president also enjoys high approval rating, with 71 percent satisfaction rate in December, according to the local polling agency Social Weather Stations.
Elsewhere in Manila on Saturday afternoon, an assembly of left-wing groups, students, church workers and activists held a separate march calling for "resistance" against Duterte, whom they likened to the dictator, Marcos. Demonstrators raised their fists as they carried banners denouncing the "dictatorship" and Duterte's plan to change the constitution.  "We are here to show that we are capable of fighting the dictator Duterte," a leader of the march said in a video clip posted on social media. The protesters partially blocked traffic along the route of the march. On Friday, thousands of students across the country also joined a school walkout.
Harry Roque, spokesman of the president said, the anti-government protests are proof that "democracy and freedom are very much alive in the Philippines". Roque said Duterte is "open to constructive criticism".
Meanwhile, thousands of uniformed police officers, their family members and supporters held a counter-march near the national police headquarters in Manila in support of the Duterte's drug war. "Fight and defeat drugs," read one banner carried by the demonstrators.

More News For this Category

Mass arrests of opposition men alleged

Reza Mahmud and Noman Mosharef :All preparations are afoot to hold the Gazipur City Corporation election tomorrow. The government has deployed a  total of 29 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh

England defeat Panama 6-1

England defeat Panama 6-1

Harry Kane scores a hat trick for the first time in a World Cup since 1986 as the Three Lions score their biggest tournament haul.England are through to the knockout

Banking sector at risk

Staff Reporter :Planning Minister AFM Mustafa Kamal on Sunday said that the government would take action against those whoever is the guilty for looting bank money."We are determined to do

BNP for removal of Gazipur police super before GCC polls

Staff Reporter  :BNP has demanded removal of Gazipur police super before Gazipur City Corporation election meeting the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) AK Nurul Huda at his office blaming him for

Two shot dead in Pabna

Staff Reporter :Two men were shot dead by unidentified miscreants in a broad-day light at a shop in Tebaria Bazar of Ataikula upazila in Pabna district on Sunday evening.The deceased

NHRC chief reiterates call for fair probe

Staff Reporter  :Chairman of the national human rights commission Kazi Reazul Haque  reiterated demand for proper investigation into the death of Teknaf's municipal ward councillor Ekramul Haque as it caught

Sorry state of a busy road in city's Karwan Bazar area. This picture was snapped on Sunday.

Sorry state of a busy road in city's Karwan Bazar area. This picture was snapped on Sunday.

SC decision on Khaleda's bail July 2

Staff Reporter  :The Appellate Division of the Suprme Court on Sunday set July 2 for delivering its decision on the government's appeal seeking cancellation of the bail order granted by

MP Ekramul settles case against son with Tk 20 lakh

Staff Reporter :The family of a man killed in a hit-and-run car incident involving the son of MP Ekramul Karim Chowdhury has agreed to take a one-time payment of Tk

3 BCL men held for demanding money from Nandail OC

Staff Reporter  :Three activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were detained for trying to extort Tk 20,000 from Nanadail Officer-in-Charge (OC) Kamrul Islam Miah in Mymensingh on Sunday.Arrestees are Raju,