MANILA—An organization of professors on Thursday called for an overhaul of the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs amid the number of young people who have died in the campaign.
In a statement, Professors for Peace sought a Senate probe into the death of 12th grader Kian delos Santos, who was killed in an anti-drug operation in Caloocan.
“We call on the Senate to investigate and consider the urgent need for a complete overhaul of the government’s anti-drugs campaign. Any such campaign should protect instead of harm our children and youth, include target interventions on the main sources of drugs, and value the rights of all Filipino citizens under a strong rule of law,” the statement read.
The organization said it is alarmed that instead of apprehending big-time drug smugglers, police arrest small-time drug suspects.
"We also note the evidence of continuous influx of illegal drugs into the country, notably from China," it said.
The group also urged the government to launch a "nonviolent, humane, holistic, health-based and community-based" efforts to fight drug addiction.
"We urge government to place a greater focus on the root causes of drug use, the root sources of drug supply in the country, and the root issues of poverty and corruption that have aggravated the drug problem," it said.
As of this posting, the statement has gathered 500 signatories, among them five university presidents and 21 college deans.
Among them are Ateneo de Manila University president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, De La Salle University-Manila president Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC, De La Salle Philippines president Br. Armin Luistro, University of San Carlos president Dionisio Miranda, SVD, and Panpacific University North Philippines president Rhonda Padilla.