More blood on our streets: FLAG warns vs police return to drug war

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2017 04:44 PM

The Free Legal Assistance Group on Wednesday said it fears that the number of drug-related killings may increase if the police will again be at the forefront of the government's anti-narcotics campaign. 

“We may have to expect more blood to spill on our streets,” FLAG Secretary General Maria Socorro Diokno said.

Diokno launched "Drug Issues, Different Perspectives," a book that is an offshoot of the controversial public policy forum which FLAG and other human rights advocacy groups organized last May.

During the forum, United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard raised the issue of “badly thought-out” policies on drugs.

Callamard has consistently earned the ire of President Duterte, who recently said that he would slap her if she will investigate the administration's war on drugs. 

“Badly thought-out, ill-conceived drug policies not only fail to address, substantively, drug dependency, drug-related criminality, and the drug trade, but instead, add more problems,” Callamard said as quoted in the book.

Diokno added that she felt bad that the forum may have also led to the sacking of former Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman Benjamin Reyes who mentioned his “contradictory” figure of 1.8 million drug users as opposed to the 4 million figure of the President.

Diokno also noted the firing of Reyes' successor, Dionisio Santiago, who said in an interview that it was a “mistake” to establish a huge drug rehabilitation facility in Nueva Ecija. “It seems the chairmanship of the DDB is unlucky, the next chairman was also unceremoniously fired,” the FLAG official said. 

The book is a project of FLAG, as well as other organizations such as the University of the Philippines Institute of Human Rights (UP IHR), Coalition Against Death Penalty, No Box Transitions Foundation.

The book is available at the UP IHR in UP Diliman.