Philippines death penalty: A fight to stop the return of capital punishment

Death Penalty - Cruel Punishmentsource: BBC News
published: 16 August 2020

Capital punishment opponents expect a steep battle to prevent President Rodrigo Duterte from reimposing the death penalty, as he renews calls for the law as part of a “drug war” that has already killed thousands of Filipinos.

Few were surprised when Mr Duterte last month pushed, once again, to reintroduce the death penalty for drug offenders.

Since coming to power in 2016 he has waged a brutal crackdown on suspected drug users and dealers, issuing police with shoot-to-kill orders while encouraging citizens to kill drug users too.

Officially the police say they shoot only in self-defence and data shows more than 8,000 people have been killed in anti-drug operations. The nation’s human rights commission estimates a toll as high as 27,000.

The piling bodies have been documented by photojournalists whose images of dead suspects face-down in pools of blood after a police raid, or strewn on streets in suspected vigilante murders, have shocked the world.

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