MANILA - Student activists on Monday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to address cases of extra-judicial killings which saw an increase since he assumed office.
Carrying cardboard sheets bearing their messages for Duterte, the youth protesters laid down in front of the Commission of Rights (CHR) office in Diliman, Quezon City, in an imitation of the way that "salvage" victims are often found dead.
In recent weeks, dozens of cadavers of suspected criminals were abandoned in streets with cardboard signs stating their supposed crimes.
'Adik at magnanakaw ako:' Mga salvage victim, nakita sa Malabon, Maynila
Bea Reyno of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines said Duterte should tackle summary execution during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon.
"Grabe na po 'yung statistics ng extra-judicial killings at summary executions, lalong lalo na po noong nagsimulang maupo si President Duterte," Reyno said.
"Sa tingin po namin nangyari ito dahil sa propaganda, narrative na okay lang ang pagpatay kahit suspects pa lang."
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, however, stressed that Duterte does not condone vigilante killings.
"Ang kanya po talagang stand is anti-extra judicial killings... Hindi po siya nag-aadvocate, binibigyan ng lisensya ang mga tao na pumatay," Abella told radio DZMM.
-- With a report from Jeff Hernaez, DZMM