All Filipinos casualties if impunity continues in Duterte
anti-drug and anti-crime campaign
The Alternative Law Groups (ALG) Inc. asserts that human rights and due process must be
upheld in the continuing anti-drug and anti-crime campaign under the administration of
President Rodrigo Duterte.
As a national coalition of legal resource nongovernmental organizations that adhere to the
principles and values of alternative or developmental law, we demand greater transparency
and accountability in the implementation of the government’s campaign.
We are deeply concerned with the rising incidence of extrajudicial and alleged vigilante killings,
torture and other inhumane practices related to this campaign. We believe that perpetrators
should be punished, including local government officials, law enforcers and private citizens if
found guilty, following the immediate probe of such cases under the law.
Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) must strictly adhere to commitment to
human rights. The organization itself refers to “community and human-rights based policing”
and cites it as a measure of competence and professionalism; thus, those who defy it among
their ranks and break the law even as they enforce it, must be strongly sanctioned. In
addition, the silence of the PNP regarding issues of alleged vigilante killings is deafening.
The mandate of the PNP is to ensure the peace and order of society; therefore, reports of
this issue should not be tolerated despite the aggressive anti-drug and crime campaign. To
further ensure that the rule of law is being upheld, greater monitoring and efforts should be
implemented and enforced in preventing and restraining vigilante killings especially in areas
where criminality and drug abuse are rampant.
Perceived gains in the accelerated apprehension of alleged drug users and criminal offenders
must not compromise the rule of law, and divert focus from the need for sustainable policy
reforms to effectively address corruption and other problems in the security sector and justice
Inevitably, all Filipinos are casualties when the culture of impunity persists, and especially when
it is cheered rather than condemned.
We urge the President himself to lead the country against excessive violence and abuse of power
as these do not offer long-term solutions to peace and order and instead, magnify the issue of
access to justice by all citizens, especially the poor and marginalized.
We appeal for increasing support for the advocacy and oversight initiatives of civil society in this
issue. The longstanding role of nongovernment and people’s organizations as nonpartisan
watchdogs of government has safeguarded and served our nation’s democratic ideals then and
We remain committed to this role with President Duterte’s promise of ‘change.’ In turn, we
continue to ensure fundamental human rights are promoted and protected equally with enforcing
Alternative Law Groups (ALG)
Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development in Mindanaw, Inc. (BALAOD MINDANAW), Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB),
Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), EnGendeRights, Educational Research and Development Assistance Foundation (ERDA), Humanitarian Legal Assistance
Foundation (HLAF), Human Rights Unlimited (HRU), Kaisahan Tungo sa Kaunlaran ng Kanayunan at Repormang Pansakahan (KAISAHAN), Kanlungan Center Foundation,
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan (LRC-KSK), Paglilingkod Batas Pangkapatiran Foundation, Inc. (PBPF), Participatory Research Organization
of Communities and Education Towards Struggle for Self-Reliance (PROCESS-PANAY), Rainbow Rights (R-Rights) Project, Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal (SALIGAN),
Tanggapang Panligal ng Katutubong Pilipino (PANLIPI), Tanggol Kalikasan (TK), Tebtebba Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education