CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Friday, March 3, 2017

THE KILLING FIELDS

THE KILLING FIELDS



Duterte's back-street butchers: Bodies pile up as crackdown claims 5,900 lives in five months and president declares 'You want me to stop? Then stop taking drugs' 

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 
  • President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has sent the death toll to 5,927 in the five months he's been in office
  • Radical leader insists he is not a killer despite the country's streets being littered with bodies in crackdown
  • He has insisted the operation will continue having previously urged citizens to 'go ahead' and kill drug dealers 
  • Less than half of deaths - 2,086 - are linked to police operations with the rest believed to be vigilante killings

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has sent the death toll to 5,927 in five months and has said the way to stop the slaughter is to stop taking drugs. 
The radical leader insists he is not a killer, despite the country's streets being littered with dead bodies due to his crackdown on illicit drugs.  
President Duterte said he is not about to pull the plug on his operation, but would happily allow citizens to enjoy Christmas and New Year in peace if people stopped taking drugs. 
A poem, my lamentations about the country, and our people crying out for justice...ASC



A Country, A Race, A Nation
Hosts to heroes long since departed,
Mark the revolutions.
The governments, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On the pearl of the Orient Seas,
Any broad alarm of the hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of crimes against its people




But today, the Country cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no retiring place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The guardians, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness, 





Have lain too long, Face down in feudal ignorance.
Your minds spelling rancor
Armed for slaughter.
The country cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide behind false constitution.
Across the hall of nations,
A poor people cries for justice, 
Come rest here by my side.................ASC 
Rain pours onto the body of Romeo Torres Fontanilla, who was gunned down, witnesses said, by two unknown men on a motorbike, in the Pasay district of Manila, Philippines
Rain pours onto the body of Romeo Torres Fontanilla, who was gunned down, witnesses said, by two unknown men on a motorbike, in the Pasay district of Manila, Philippines
The basketball court at the Quezon City Jail, which has become a sleeping area, in the Philippines 
The basketball court at the Quezon City Jail, which has become a sleeping area, in the Philippines 
Police investigators near the body of Michael Araja, 29, who neighbors said was killed by two men riding by on a motorbike, in the Pasay district of Manila, Philippines
Police investigators near the body of Michael Araja, 29, who neighbors said was killed by two men riding by on a motorbike, in the Pasay district of Manila, Philippines
The bodies of Frederick Mafe, 48, and Arjay Lumbago, 23, who were riding together on a motorbike when they were killed by a pair on another motorbike, in Quezon City, Philippines
The bodies of Frederick Mafe, 48, and Arjay Lumbago, 23, who were riding together on a motorbike when they were killed by a pair on another motorbike, in Quezon City, Philippines
Police investigators hunched over the body of Romeo Torres Fontanilla, who was gunned down, witnesses said, by two unknown men on a motorbike, as it rains in the Pasay district of Manila, Philippines
Police investigators hunched over the body of Romeo Torres Fontanilla, who was gunned down, witnesses said, by two unknown men on a motorbike, as it rains in the Pasay district of Manila, Philippines
Jimji, 6, cries out in anguish, saying "Papa" as workers move the body of her father, Jimboy Bolasa, 25, for burial, in Manila, Philippines
Jimji, 6, cries out in anguish, saying 'Papa' as workers move the body of her father, Jimboy Bolasa, 25, for burial, in Manila, Philippines
He told the Phil Star: 'They say there have been a lot of killings, executions and extrajudicial killings. You want these to end? 
'It's simple. You drug users should stop.
'Stop it and there will be a peaceful New Year and Christmas.'
His national police released figures on Monday stating there had been 5,927 deaths linked to the war on drugs in the Philippines since July 1, according to CNN.
Part of President Duterte's manifesto was to crack down on illegal drugs and he was elected to office in May.
In July, 60,000 Filipino drug addicts surrendered themselves to the government after the President urged citizens to 'go ahead and kill' drug dealers and users.
But the death toll has continued to rise, with 2,086 killed in police operations and 3,841 in extra-judicial or vigilante-style killings. 
More than 40,000 suspects have been arrested, but President Duterte has made it clear he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations for carrying out his merciless orders.
Duterte has repeatedly denied that police are carrying out extra-judicial killings, which involve victims' faced being taped up, but in September said he would be 'happy to slaughter' three million drug addicts.
Many are thought to have been gunned down by vigilante groups, who are paid in cash for each confirmed kill, with many leaving cards labelled pushers next to bodies to prove the hit.
These groups are a key part in Duterte's pledge to kill 100,000 drug users and dealers and fill Manila Bay with their bodies.

An unidentified body that was found with his head wrapped in packing tape, his hands tied behind his back and a cardboard sign that read, "A pusher who won't stop will have his life ended," on a street in Manila, Philippines
An unidentified body that was found with his head wrapped in packing tape, his hands tied behind his back and a cardboard sign that read, 'A pusher who won't stop will have his life ended,' on a street in Manila, Philippines
Bodies stacked up at a funeral parlor as the families of victims like Danilo Deparine, whose body lay on a metal stretcher on the floor, struggle to pay for burial, in Manila, Philippines
Bodies stacked up at a funeral parlor as the families of victims like Danilo Deparine, whose body lay on a metal stretcher on the floor, struggle to pay for burial, in Manila, Philippines
Inmates at a Manila police station watch as drug suspects are processed after their arrests in the Philippines
Inmates at a Manila police station watch as drug suspects are processed after their arrests in the Philippines
The funeral of Benjamin Visda, 43, who had left a family birthday celebration to get something from a convenience store when he was snatched off the street and killed, according to relatives, in Manila, Philippines
The funeral of Benjamin Visda, 43, who had left a family birthday celebration to get something from a convenience store when he was snatched off the street and killed, according to relatives, in Manila, Philippines
Four men arrested for possession of drugs cover their faces from the camera in Manila, Philippines
Four men arrested for possession of drugs cover their faces from the camera in Manila, Philippines
Nellie Diaz hunches over the body of her husband, Crisostomo, a drug user who had surrendered but still ended up dead, in Manila, Philippines
Nellie Diaz hunches over the body of her husband, Crisostomo, a drug user who had surrendered but still ended up dead, in Manila, Philippines
Duterte, 71, won elections in a landslide on a pledge to kill tens of thousands of criminals to fight narco-politics in the Philippines. 
Since he took office the crackdown has claimed thousands of lives, but told Phil Star: 'I won't hold back and abandon my job. Somebody has to be sacrificed for it. That's OK with me. It's part of the territory to be disliked.
'I do not offer any excuses or apologies. I will answer God when I face him.'
Some have accused him of crimes against humanity, human rights abuses and mass executions, but Duterte maintains his campaign will transform the country.   
'I cannot explain every death in this country,' he added. 
But if you tell me to hold back, I cannot because I cannot afford it. 
'I cannot now stop the momentum with the four million drug addicts spread all throughout the country.'
People visit the tombs of their loved ones on All Saints Day at the Barangka cemetery in the Marikina area of Manila, Philippines
People visit the tombs of their loved ones on All Saints Day at the Barangka cemetery in the Marikina area of Manila, Philippines
Relatives overcome with grief at the site where the bodies of Frederick Mafe and Arjay Lumbago lie sprawled in the middle of a street in Manila, Philippines
Relatives overcome with grief at the site where the bodies of Frederick Mafe and Arjay Lumbago lie sprawled in the middle of a street in Manila, Philippines
Funeral parlor workers carry away Edwin Mendoza Alon-Alon, 36, who was shot in the head outside a 7-Eleven store, in the Paranaque area of Manila, Philippines
Funeral parlor workers carry away Edwin Mendoza Alon-Alon, 36, who was shot in the head outside a 7-Eleven store, in the Paranaque area of Manila, Philippines
The blood of Florjohn Cruz, 34, stains the floor in his family's living room, next to an altar displaying images and statues of the Virgin Mary, among other items, in Manila, Philippines
The blood of Florjohn Cruz, 34, stains the floor in his family's living room, next to an altar displaying images and statues of the Virgin Mary, among other items, in Manila, Philippines
Police at the scene of Ronald Kalau's death, in Manila, Philippines
Police at the scene of Ronald Kalau's death, in Manila, Philippines
The busy Tondo neighborhood of Manila, the Philippines where President Rodrigo DuterteĆ­s brutal anti-drug campaign rages
The busy Tondo neighborhood of Manila, the Philippines where President Rodrigo DuterteĆ­s brutal anti-drug campaign rages
Roel Scott, 13, inspects the bloodied spot where his uncle, Joselito Jumaquio, 52, was killed by the police, in Manila, Philippines
Roel Scott, 13, inspects the bloodied spot where his uncle, Joselito Jumaquio, 52, was killed by the police, in Manila, Philippines
 Family and friends attend the funeral of Joselito Jumaquio, who was slain by a mob of masked men, in Manila, Philippines
 Family and friends attend the funeral of Joselito Jumaquio, who was slain by a mob of masked men, in Manila, Philippines
Night vision goggles show a police drug raid in Philippines



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Duterte said he is overwhelmed by the seriousness of the drug problem in the country and has vowed to fight on.  
He said the drug industry had infiltrated government, with more than 2,000 officials and local executives involved in the narcotics trade, according to Phil Star.
Despite coming in for criticism, the President is hopeful billionaires would support his campaign, citing the Chinese real estate tycoon Huang Rulun, who helped pay for the rehabilitation facility in Nueva Ecija.  
China is ready to give the Philippines weapons to help wage his controversial war on drugs, the Chinese ambassador to Manila said.


More gruesome images have emerged of suspected drug dealers lying dead in the streets of Manila as the Philippine government intensifies its brutal war on narcotics. 
Nearly 1,000 people have been killed by police or vigilantes since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power and embarked on a bloody campaign against illegal drugs. 
Pictures emerged on Monday of slain drug dealers and users on the streets of Manila, investigators taking photographs of the corpses and placing them into body bags. 
A police investigator takes pictures of the corpse of a suspected drug pusher and victim of a vigilante-style execution with his hands tied and head wrapped with tape on a street in Manila
A police investigator takes pictures of the corpse of a suspected drug pusher and victim of a vigilante-style execution with his hands tied and head wrapped with tape on a street in Manila
The corpse of a suspected drug pusher lies outside a house after he was shot dead following a police operation at a slum area in Manila
The corpse of a suspected drug pusher lies outside a house after he was shot dead following a police operation at a slum area in Manila
Police investigators find an empty bullet shell next to the corpse of a suspected drug pusher after he was shot dead following an encounter with police
Police investigators find an empty bullet shell next to the corpse of a suspected drug pusher after he was shot dead following an encounter with police
Duterte has publicly named hundreds of politicians, military and police personnel, and other influential people allegedly involved in the drug trade and has ordered them to surrender or be hunted down. 
The president won a landslide election victory in May, a victory that was largely based on a pledge to kill tens of thousands of criminals.
'These sons of w****s are destroying our children. I warn you, don't go into that, even if you're a policeman, because I will really kill you,' the president told an audience during a speech in Manila.
He vowed on one occasion during the election campaign that 100,000 people would die, and so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that the fish there would grow fat from feeding on them, according to the South China Morning Post.   
The latest images emerge after a man was pictured lying bloodied and motionless on the streets of Manila after he reportedly fought back during a drug bust operation. It is thought he died at the scene. 
Nearly 1,000 people have been killed by police or vigilantes since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power and embarked on a bloody campaign against illegal drugs
Nearly 1,000 people have been killed by police or vigilantes since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power and embarked on a bloody campaign against illegal drugs
Workers from a funeral parlour load into an ambulance a corpse collected from the Paranaque city jail, where a grenade blast killed 10 inmates, 8 of whom were awaiting trial for drug-related cases
Workers from a funeral parlour load into an ambulance a corpse collected from the Paranaque city jail, where a grenade blast killed 10 inmates, 8 of whom were awaiting trial for drug-related cases
Duterte has made it clear he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations
Duterte has made it clear he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations
Graphic images show a suspected drug dealer lying dead in the streets of Philippine capital Manila after he resisted arrest
Graphic images show a suspected drug dealer lying dead in the streets of Philippine capital Manila after he resisted arrest
President Duterte has made it clear he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations for carrying out his merciless orders. 
The continuing bloodshed in the Philippines has begun to inflame diplomatic tensions, with the US embassy warning the Duterte government military aid allotted to the country was tied to adherence to the rule of law, due process and respect for human rights.
'We are concerned by reports regarding extrajudicial killings of individuals suspected to have been involved in drug activity in the Philippines,' the embassy said.
'We strongly urge the Philippines to ensure its law enforcement efforts are consistent with its human rights obligations,' the embassy added.
A man lying bloodied and motionless on the streets of Manila after he reportedly fought back during a drug bust operation
A man lying bloodied and motionless on the streets of Manila after he reportedly fought back during a drug bust operation
Mr Duterte said he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations for carrying out his orders
Mr Duterte said he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations for carrying out his orders
Two women cry in grief after armed assailants in a motorcycle shot their loved one in a main thoroughfare on July 23, in Manila
Two women cry in grief after armed assailants in a motorcycle shot their loved one in a main thoroughfare on July 23, in Manila
A Philippine foreign department statement said that Manila was focused on the eradication of drugs in society.
'Nevertheless, while pursuing this objective, the Philippine government is committed to the rule of law, and the protection of human rights for all.
'We do not condone any unlawful killings and Philippine authorities have been instructed to immediately look into these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.' 
One of the nation's top human rights lawyers, Jose Manuel Diokno, warned that Duterte had 'spawned a nuclear explosion of violence that is spiralling out of control and creating a nation without judges'.  

A crime scene shows where an alleged drug dealer was killed last month. Philippine police said they had killed 550 drug suspects while arresting nearly 8,000 others since the May election
A crime scene shows where an alleged drug dealer was killed last month. Philippine police said they had killed 550 drug suspects while arresting nearly 8,000 others since the May election
A young alleged drug dealer pictured in July with his hands and feet bound and his head wrapped in tape besides a road
A young alleged drug dealer pictured in July with his hands and feet bound and his head wrapped in tape besides a road
A man in a blood soaked white t-shirt lays curled up on the ground next to a handgun
A man in a blood soaked white t-shirt lays curled up on the ground next to a handgun



Top Philippine drug war critic arrested, but defiant

Philippine Senator Leila De Lima (C), a top critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, is escorted by police officers and her lawyer Alex Padilla (R) after her arrest at the Senate in Manila on February 24, 2017 Philippine Senator Leila De Lima (C), a top critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, is escorted by police officers and her lawyer Alex Padilla (R) after her arrest at the Senate in Manila on February 24, 2017The highest-profile critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal drug war was arrested on Friday on charges she said were meant to silence her, but she vowed to keep fighting the "sociopathic serial killer".Speaking to journalists minutes before armed police in flak jackets detained her, Senator Leila de Lima insisted she was innocent of the drug trafficking charges that could see her jailed for life."It is my honour to be imprisoned for the things I am fighting for. Please pray for me," De Lima, 57, said outside her Senate office where she had sought temporary refuge overnight after an arrest warrant was issued on Thursday."They will not be able to silence me and stop me from fighting for the truth and justice and against the daily killings and repression by the Duterte regime."De Lima also recorded a polemical video just before her arrest as she called for ordinary Filipinos to show courage and oppose Duterte's drug war, which has seen more than 6,500 people killed since he took office eight months ago.Philippines drug war Philippines drug war"There is no doubt that our president is a murderer and a sociopathic serial killer," she said in the 10-minute video that was posted on her Facebook page.De Lima, a former human rights commissioner, also said her arrest was an act of revenge for her decade-long efforts to expose Duterte as the leader of death squads during his time as mayor of southern Davao city.Duterte first raised allegations in August that De Lima had been running a drug trafficking ring with criminals inside the nation's biggest prison when she was the justice secretary in the previous government."I will have to destroy her in public," Duterte said then as he began a campaign to tarnish her reputation, including by making unsubstantiated allegations about her sex life."De Lima is not only screwing her driver, she is also screwing the nation."De Lima was last week charged with three counts of drug trafficking.- 'People are afraid' -Senator Leila de Lima has called on ordinary Filipinos to stand up in opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war, which has seen more than 6,500 people killed since he took office eight months ago Senator Leila de Lima has called on ordinary Filipinos to stand up in opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war, which has seen more than 6,500 people killed since he took office eight months agoShe and her supporters insisted that Duterte orchestrated the charges not just to crush her opposition, but also to intimidate anyone else who may want to speak out against the president or his drug war."People are afraid," Father Robert Reyes, an activist priest who spent the night at the Senate with De Lima and other supporters, told AFP after her arrest."If the government can arrest a powerful person like her, what more the little man? That is the implied message of her arrest."Vice President Leni Robredo, a member of De Lima's opposition Liberal Party and elected separately from Duterte, described the arrest as "political harassment".Amnesty International said Thursday that it would regard De Lima as a prisoner of conscience."The arrest of De Lima is a blatant attempt by the Philippine government to silence criticism of President Duterte and divert attention away from serious human rights violations in the 'war on drugs'," it said.Philippine Senator Leila De Lima, a top critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, sits in the senate in Manila on February 23, 2017 Philippine Senator Leila De Lima, a top critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, sits in the senate in Manila on February 23, 2017Duterte's aides insisted they had a strong case against De Lima and said her arrest showed even the most powerful people would be brought to justice if they broke the law."The war on illegal drugs targets all who are involved and the arrest of an incumbent senator demonstrates the president´s strong resolve to fight pushers, peddlers and their protectors," presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.Duterte, 71, won the presidential election last year after promising during the campaign to eradicate drugs in society by killing tens of thousands of people.He launched the crackdown immediately after taking office in June and police have reported killing 2,555 drug suspects since then, with about 4,000 other people murdered in unexplained circumstances.Amnesty has warned that police actions in the drug war may amount to crimes against humanity.Duterte has variously denied and acknowledged his role in death squads in Davao. As president he has repeatedly urged police to kill drug addicts as well as traffickers.But Duterte's aides insist he has never broken any laws.Fierce Duterte critic arrested on drug trafficking charges


Sen. Leila de Lima's arrest came a day after the Regional Trial Court in Muntinlupa city in the Manila metropolis issued the warrant for her arrest along with other officials who have been charged by state prosecutors for allegedly receiving bribes from detained drug lords.
De Lima has denied the charges, which she said were part of an attempt by Duterte to muzzle critics of his crackdown, which has left more than 7,000 drug suspects dead. She questioned why the court suddenly issued the arrest order when it was scheduled Friday to hear her petition to void the three non-bailable charges.
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2017 file photo, Philippine Senator Leila de Lima gestures during a postponed news conference at the Philippine Senate in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. De Lima, a Philippine opposition senator and leading critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly anti-drug crackdown was arrested Friday, Feb. 24 on drug charges but professed her innocence and vowed she would not get cowed by a leader she called a "serial killer." (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2017 file photo, Philippine Senator Leila de Lima gestures during a postponed news conference at the Philippine Senate in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. De Lima, a Philippine opposition senator and leading critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly anti-drug crackdown was arrested Friday, Feb. 24 on drug charges but professed her innocence and vowed she would not get cowed by a leader she called a "serial killer." (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
"If they think they can silence me, if they think I will no longer fight for my advocacies, specially on the truth on the daily killings and other intimidations of this Duterte regime, it's my honor to be jailed for what I've been fighting for," she said before policemen took her into custody at the Senate.
A police convoy, trailed by media vans, took de Lima to the main police camp, where officers will take her photograph and fingerprints before her detention.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella called de Lima's arrest "a major step forward in the administration's anti-drug war."
When de Lima headed the government's Commission on Human Rights, she tried unsuccessfully to have Duterte prosecuted when he was mayor of Davao city for allegedly unlawful deaths that occurred during an anti-drug crackdown in the city. No witnesses came forward then to testify against the mayor, human rights officials said.
Duterte expanded the crackdown nationwide after becoming president last June, and de Lima has continued to criticize him after winning a Senate seat last year.
In one of her strongest statements against the president this week, de Lima called Duterte a "sociopathic serial killer" who has not been made to answer for more than 1,000 deaths during his crackdown in Davao city as its mayor and now for the thousands of drug suspects killed in his national fight against illegal drugs.
She urged Duterte's Cabinet members to declare him unfit to serve as president. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II warned that such remarks were seditious, but de Lima replied that Aguirre and Duterte are "the rebels and inciters against a constitutional order that values life and due process above everything else."
Prosecutors allege that de Lima, while she was justice secretary under former President Benigno Aquino III, received bribes from detained drug lords to finance her senatorial campaign, and they say some of the drug lords would testify against her. The bribes were allegedly solicited by her former driver and lover, who was also charged and arrested Thursday in northern Pangasinan province.
Duterte has lashed out at de Lima with foul language, calling her a sex-crazed immoral woman whose election opened "the portals of the national government ... to narco politics."
De Lima said the case against her might be the "wakeup call" the country needs, referring to the absence of a public outcry in the country over the killings in the anti-drug campaign.


Philippines Sen. Leila de Lima, one of the fiercest critics of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, was arrested in Manila on drug-related charges.
De Lima headed a commission investigating extra-judicial killings under the war on drugs, which has left more than 7,000 dead since Duterte took office in June. She surrendered to the Philippine National Police on Friday morning at her Senate office on charges of organizing a drug trafficking operation out of Manila’s notorious New Bilibid Prisonwhile she was justice secretary from 2010 to 2015. She is also accused of using drug money to fund her 2016 senatorial campaign.
In a video statement posted to her Facebook page before her arrest, de Lima accused Duterte of being the mastermind of the charges, which she called manufactured and politically motivated.
“My arrest is an appalling sign of the return of a power-hungry, morally bankrupt and abusive government,” she said.
In a plot she called “revolting,” de Lima noted that the evidence against her is based on the testimony of convicted criminals who received special privileges in prison and were cleared of charges in exchange for testifying. “The Filipino people know your style, Mr. President,” she said. “To put the rule of law in your hands, silence your critics, and destroy those who will go against your caprices.”
Senate supporters of de Lima also spoke out against the arrest. Senators from the Liberal Party, of which de Lima is a member, released a statement condemning the arrest as a political attack.
“The Liberal Party reiterates that it condemns the political persecution of brave administration critic Senator Leila de Lima,” the statement read. They  also expressed fear for her safety under police custody, citing the recent high-profile kidnap and murder case of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo at the hands of police.
Human rights groups also blasted the arrest.
Read more:
Duterte backs off claim he tossed man from helicopter — sort of
James Taylor cancels Philippines gig to protest murderous anti-drug policy
Duterte's controversial drug war: 6 months, 6,000 deaths in the Philippines
“What we’re seeing is nothing less than a political vendetta in which President Duterte is targeting his highest-profile critic and challenger of his abusive war on drugs,” said Phelim Kine, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch.
“This is a sad day for the Philippines,” Kine said. “The judiciary has been hijacked to enable Duterte to effectively silence his political opponents.”
Duterte was a vocal critic of de Lima while she was chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which was investigating the surge in killings linked to the war on drugs. In August, as drug allegations began to mount against her, Duterte told reporters he thought de Lima should commit suicide: “If I were de Lima, ladies and gentlemen, I will hang myself,” Duterte said.
In September, de Lima was ousted as chair in a vote by other members of the committee.
Last week, Duterte said  de Lima had to "face the music. There were a number of witnesses, it took two months to develop the case,” Duterte added.
If convicted, de Lima faces 12 years to life in prison. In the Philippines, legislators are only immune from arrest for crimes punishable by fewer than six years in prison.
The campaign against de Lima and her arrest sends a message to Duterte’s critics, said Human Rights Watch’s Kine. “If you challenge the government’s narrative, you will suffer and suffer greatly,” he added.
Another Philippine Mayor Accused of Drug Crimes by Duterte Is Killed


A young child is pictured hanging from one of the graves as more victims are brought to the mortuary by the van load  
A young child is pictured hanging from one of the graves as more victims are brought to the mortuary by the van load  
Bodies wrapped in an American flag are carried to their burial site. In July, 60,000 Filipino drug addicts surrendered themselves to the government after the President urged citizens to 'go ahead and kill' drug dealers and users But the death toll has continued to rise
Bodies wrapped in an American flag are carried to their burial site. In July, 60,000 Filipino drug addicts surrendered themselves to the government after the President urged citizens to 'go ahead and kill' drug dealers and users But the death toll has continued to rise
President Duterte has made it clear he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations for carrying out his merciless orders. Pictured: Morgue workers spray decomposing bodies with chemicals 
President Duterte has made it clear he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations for carrying out his merciless orders. Pictured: Morgue workers spray decomposing bodies with chemicals 
Thousands of victms, many of them parents to young children, are thought to have been gunned down by vigilante groups, who are paid in cash for each confirmed kill
Thousands of victms, many of them parents to young children, are thought to have been gunned down by vigilante groups, who are paid in cash for each confirmed kill
The vigilante groups are a key part in Duterte's pledge to kill 100,000 drug users and dealers and fill Manila Bay with their bodies
The vigilante groups are a key part in Duterte's pledge to kill 100,000 drug users and dealers and fill Manila Bay with their bodies
Photo
Rolando Espinosa Sr., left, with the national police chief, Ronald dela Rosa, in the Manila suburb of Quezon City after turning himself in to the authorities in August. 
Credit
Mark R. Cristino/European Pressphoto Agency
MANILA — A Philippine mayor who had been accused of drug trafficking by President Rodrigo Duterte was shot and killed by police officers in his jail cell on Saturday, the police said.
The mayor, Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, a town in Leyte Province in the central Philippines, had been arrested in October, several weeks after Mr. Duterte included him in a list of about 150 Philippine officials who he said were involved in narcotics. Mr. Espinosa, who had denied any wrongdoing, is the second politician on the list to have been killed by police officers in a little more than a week.
The Leyte provincial police said Saturday that Mr. Espinosa and his cellmate, identified as Raul Yap, had been killed in a “firefight” with police officers, who woke them at dawn while searching their cell. The provincial police chief, Juvy Espinido, told a Manila radio station that both men had “resisted” the police but said he could not provide further details.
Later, the police said they had recovered two handguns from the jail cell. Bags containing what was believed to be methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were also found inside the cell, the police said.
Calls to spokesmen for the national police in Manila were not returned.
Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, a member of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, an independent government body, said the deaths “raise serious questions on the responsibility of the state to protect persons deprived of liberty, especially in relation to the primordial right to live of every human being.”
Ms. Pimentel-Gana called on the police to “hold the people responsible for the deaths accountable.”
Mr. Espinosa died just eight days after Samsudin Dimaukom, another mayor accused of drug crimes by Mr. Duterte, was killed by police officers in the southern Philippines. Mr. Dimaukom, who also denied being involved in narcotics, was gunned down at a police checkpoint along with nine men traveling with him; the police said people in Mr. Dimaukom’s party had fired on officers.
In August, Mr. Duterte read on television his list of officials allegedly involved in drugs, warning them to surrender to the authorities. He offered no evidence of their guilt and later said some names might have been put on the list by mistake.Since taking office in June, Mr. Duterte has embarked on a bloody campaign against drugs — particularly shabu, a cheap form of methamphetamine — that has left about 2,000 people killed by police officers, and hundreds of others by vigilantes. Human rights groups and Western governments have criticized the campaign, but it has been popular in the Philippines.
Mr. Espinosa, who was accused by Mr. Duterte along with his son, Kerwin Espinosa, turned himself in to the police in Manila, while his son went into hiding. The son has since been detained in Abu Dhabi, and Philippine officials said they were seeking to have him returned.
While Rolando Espinosa was in detention, the police raided his home and killed six of his bodyguards. They said they had found about 24 pounds of shabu on the property. Nevertheless, he was later freed, only to be arrested again in October and charged with illegal possession of drugs and firearms.











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