Philippine activists protest President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs

About 100 activists protested outside the Philippine National Police headquarters in Manila on Friday to demand justice for a South Korean businessman allegedly murdered by police and those killed in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Duterte apologized to South Korea on Thursday (January 26) and said he wanted to hang rogue police and send their heads to Seoul.

South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo was taken by police inside his home in Pampanga province about 80 km north of Manila, during a drug raid in last year and was later killed inside the national police headquarters, a report by the justice department said.

Activists lit candles and chanted slogans condemning the police.

"The kidnapping and murder of a Korean businessman of course has rattled the entire police force and the Duterte administration. They have no choice but to apologize and to ensure that justice will be achieved for the victim but that is just one person. How about the many others who are not as rich as this Korean businessman? How about the ordinary people who have been killed in communities? Who will speak for them and who will fight for justice on their behalf?" said New Patriotic Alliance Secretary General Renato Reyes.

READ MORE: With death toll rising, Rodrigo Duterte seeks to extend Philippine war on drugs

Rights groups say abuses of police power in the Philippines have become rampant as Duterte's bloody narcotics crackdown has gone unabated during the first six months of the former crime-busting mayor's presidential term.

The Philippine Senate started its legislative investigation on Thursday (January 26) on the involvement of the police who were allegedly reported to have been using the drug war for crime.

Police figures show more than 7,000 people have been killed during Duterte's campaign, either during legitimate police operations mostly due to self defence or unexplained deaths which are currently under investigation.

Source: Global News

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