MANILA - (UPDATE) Regular faculty members of the University of the Philippines-Diliman said it was calling on government to "stop the killings" related to its war on drugs as it expressed concern over the deaths of 3 teenagers.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week reminded police not to kill "defenseless persons" and promised to pursue charges against security forces "if need be."
The President said one of the recent fatalities, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, was a relative. Arnaiz was accused of robbing a taxi and went missing with his friend, Reynaldo De Guzman. The 2 were later found dead.
"We strongly call upon the government to stop the killings and uphold the rule of law," according to a statement by the University Council, composed of regular professors, associate professors and assistant professors.
The group expressed the "strongest indignation" over the deaths of Arnaiz, De Guzman and 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, whom police accused of being a drug courier.
The teens' deaths are a "reflection of the brutal method that our law enforcement uses, emboldened and encouraged by the President’s protection and rhetoric that perpetuate impunity and the climate of fear," the group said.
"The campaign against drugs should not be a bloody war against the poor who have little or no capacity to protect themselves both from the onslaught of the drug crime and the predominant social corruption," it said.
(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story identified Kian Loyd delos Santos as a reported relative of President Rodrigo Duterte. It was Carl Angelo Arnaiz whom the President said was his relative. We regret the error. )