CHR raises alarm over drug drop boxes, 'narco-free' stickers


Posted at Aug 13 2017 01:01 PM | Updated as of Aug 13 2017 04:00 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Sunday expressed concern over several anti-narcotics tactics at the barangay level, including the use drop boxes to collect information on drug suspects and the use of "drug-free home" stickers.

"The information collected through the 'drop boxes' -- while serves as tips or leads to the police -- may expose an individual to mistaken arrest if the information is not verified and court processes are not involved," the CHR said in a statement.

"In the same way, residents of a house with no drug-free sticker may be unduly discriminated and/or tagged as drug-users/pushers without due process of law guaranteed by the Constitution. This also violates the right of any person to be heard before he/she is condemned," it said.

The CHR reminded authorities to protect human dignity and the right to privacy in the performance of their duty.

"The Commission is also hopeful that the government will continue to re-examine its anti-drug campaign and adopt a strategic and comprehensive, but human rights-based approach."

The CHR has repeatedly called out the thousands of killings being linked to the war on drugs.

Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to abolish the Constitutional body but later said he was only kidding.

The Duterte administration has for many times defended its drug war against critics, saying reported figures of deaths - from 7,000 to 9,000 - were overblown.

Philippine National Police (PNP) data show that a total of 3,200 drug personalities were killed in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017.

The PNP has also determined that out of the 12,833 homicide cases from July 1, 2016 to June 16, 2017, 2,098 deaths were drug-related while 2,535 non-drug related.

A total of 8,200 homicide cases were under investigation "with motives to be determined," police earlier said.