Philippine: Thousands Join Walk for Life March Against Duterte’s War On Drugs

Philippine: Thousands Join Walk for Life March Against Duterte’s War On Drugs
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Thousands of Roman Catholics gathered in the Philippine capital to join “Walk for Life” March to protest the extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign to wipe out drug dealers and users.

Organizers claimed as many as 50,000 people took part in the march toward Manila’s Rizal Park, while about 10,000 based on police estimates stayed to hear speeches.

More than 7,000 people have been killed since summer 2017 when President Rodrigo Duterte launched his campaign to wipe out drug dealers and users. The rule of law has in effect been suspended. Police and vigilantes have carte blanche.

Both the government and police have denied that extrajudicial killings have taken place. But human rights groups believe many deaths that police had attributed to vigilantes were carried out by assassins likely colluding with police.

The move, however, has been popular with many in the mainly Catholic nation.

“We have to stand up. Somehow this is already a show of force by the faithful that they don’t like these extrajudicial killings,” Manila bishop Broderick Pabillo told AFP news agency before addressing the crowd.

“I am alarmed and angry at what’s happening because this is something that is regressive. It does not show our humanity.”

The demonstrators also condemned legislation restoring the death penalty for drug-related crimes and other offences.

 

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