Myka, a 3-year old girl, is among the latest victims of President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs in the Philippines. On Sunday, while this Council is considering a long overdue resolution on the Philippines, she died after being shot during a police raid near Manila targeting her father. Myka came from an impoverished urban area, like most of those killed in Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.
The authorities admit 6,600 people have been killed over the last three years, though others estimate as many as 27,000 have lost their lives. The authorities claim that all those killed had fought back or resisted arrest, ignoring case after case in which witnesses say suspects were summarily executed. Police accounts of drug raids are not reliable – the officers enforcing the “drug war” have been shown to plant weapons and drugs to justify the killings. The intrepid human rights defenders, politicians and journalists willing to report on or denounce the killings have also been threatened and arrested.
A state that kills thousands of its own people and cracks down on those who speak out for the rights of the victims, a state that is blatantly hostile to UN experts, a state whose president explicitly has urged the killing of those associated with drugs and promised immunity to the perpetrators – all while being a member of this Council, should no longer be able to escape the scrutiny of the international community.
This Council can no longer stay silent in the face of the killing of thousands of men, women and children and the devastation of their families. For children like Myka, and all the other victims, this Council should urgently ensure an investigation into the human rights situation in the Philippines.